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ForexLive Asia-Pacific FX news wrap: Awaiting the FOMC (yen gained)

The
USD lost some ground during the Asia session. EUR, GBP, AUD, and NZD all
headed a little higher against the big dollar.

The
big move though was in USD/JPY, which dropped from highs above 148.35
(brief highs there) down to test under 147.20 (also briefly). There
was a barrage of comments from Japan’s Finance Minister Suzuki and
Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda during the fall. There was also market
speculation of some, limited, actual USD/JPY selling intervention to
give the fall a nudge along.

In
data the focus was on the New Zealand Q3 employment report. The
unemployment rate was unchanged from Q2. A key item in the report was wage gains. While the q/q Labour Cost Index moderated to
+1.1% from +1.3% previously the y/y hit +3.8%, from
+3.4% in Q2. This is the last piece of critical data from New Zealand
ahead of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand meeting, November 23. ANZ
argued that the y/y jump in wages reinforced their view that the RBNZ
will hike the OCR 75bp at the November meeting, with more hikes to
come.

In
geopolitical news North Korea fired an estimated 10 missiles today,
one of which landed less than 60 kilometres off South Korea’s coast.
This is the first time a test missile has landed near the South’s waters.
In response, South
Korea launched three
air-to-ground
missiles.
South
Korea’s missiles were fired towards the maritime border separating
the two countries, into waters north of the line. The exact line of
this border is disputed, of course.

As
I update Chinese & Hong Kong stocks have added to yesterday’s
gains. Governor of the People’s Bank of China spoke at an event in
Hong Kong. Yi Gang (in summary) said the rate of China’s potential
economic growth will be within a reasonable range, and that the
currency will remain at a reasonable and balanced level. On the
beleaguered property sector he said real estate sales are showing a
recent marginal improvement.

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