The risk-off sentiment was the key underlying theme in Asia this Tuesday, as global growth concerns continued to remain a drag on the markets. The International Monetary Fund on Monday trimmed its 2019 global growth forecasts to 3.5 percent, down from 3.7 percent in last October’s outlook.
The safe-havens such as the Yen was offered a fresh boost at the expense of the higher-yielding currencies such as the Sterling. USD/JPY pair breached the 109.50 level, while GBP/USD faced rejection multiple times just ahead of the 1.29 handle. The Euro is likely to remain under pressure ahead of the ECB’s rate decision.
Markets gear up for a busy EUR macro calendar, with the UK jobs and wages data to headline releasing at 09:30 GMT. Also, in focus remains the German ZEW economic survey for the month of January, with the headline figure seen arriving at 10:00 GMT.
Later in the NA session, the US existing home sales data will be released at 15:00 GMT. In early late NY/ early Asian trades at 22:45 GMT, New Zealand’s Q4 2018 CPI report will be published.
Oil prices fell on Tuesday as the sentiment remains weighed by global growth concerns after both the IMF and United Nations (UN) downgraded their outlooks. Meanwhile, the latest Chinese GDP report confirmed China slowdown fears and added further to the gloomy global economic outlook. On Monday, the barrel of WTI extended its last week’s rally and hit fresh multi-week tops amid positive oil supply-side scenario, with the OPEC output cuts underway and falling US rigs count.
The safe-haven gold fell on Tuesday in Asia even after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) trimmed global growth forecasts. Gold prices were down 0.3% to $1,278.65 a troy ounce today, after hitting a low of $1,276.80 earlier on Monday, their lowest level of the year so far. While the IMF report lifted other safe-haven assets including the U.S. dollar and the yen, gold prices were little impacted.