Japan's Reliance on the World Pays Off As Exports Jump (Euro Open)

Japan dominated Asian headlines after its Current Account Balance surged to a 13-month high and its Machine Orders jumped by the most since April of 2008. A 6.3% rise in exports sent the Nikkei rallying 1.21% by 00:00 EST. Price action on the Japanese Yen initially reacted favorably, but ultimately lost its footing.

Key Overnight Developments

• Japanese Machine Orders Rise by Most in 14 Months
• Current Account Balance in Japan Surges on Exports

Critical Levels

Euro and Pound action against the U.S. Dollar opened the week similarly to each other after labor figures came in stronger than expected for the American country at the end of trading on Friday. Both pairs found themselves trading tangent to the 200-hour moving average with the slow stochastic oscillator suggesting both EUR/USD and GBP/USD rising from “oversold” conditions.

Asia Session Highlights

Japanese Machine Orders, when excluding ships and utilities, June rose by 9.7% in June, beating expectations of a 2.6% increase in the figure. The latest release is the highest of such since April of 2008. Last month’s release saw orders for such industrial needs contract by 3.0%. Most of the increase in demand in June came from abroad, growing 43.8% on the month. The domestic public sector weighed in only slightly. Overall, when including when including orders for ships and utilities, total orders rose only 2.3% with private demand actually slipping by 15.9%. But it is important to strip the metric of boat orders because such expenditures are generally used for military or freighters. Still, it may somewhat worrisome to see such a substantial gap between the headline figure and the figure with the two excluded items. Such a great magnitude in difference may indicate that orders for the two products are generally quite large.

Japan's Current Account Balance, when adjusted for fluctuations in the Yen exchange rate, surged to it's highest level since May 2008 to 1798.8 billion Yen. The news comes as demand for Japanese industrial products from abroad jumped ahead. In fact, the demand for machinery from other countries made a leap of 43.8% in the month alone. In it's third rise in four months, the Trade Balance made a sizable move ahead to 602.2 billion Yen. With a 6.3% increase in its exports, the Asian country may soon be moving out of recession. But much of this good news comes on the back of conditions abroad. The risk here, then, is that if other countries experience a downturn then Japan will surely go down just as quickly.

Home Loans in Australia got a boost in June as well, rising 1.1% after the sharp upward revision of 6.2% in the month prior. Despite posting a 9th straight month of growth, the economy still remains weak. Estimates for the latest figure had called for a much stronger 1.8% increase in the metric. It is thus no wonder that Investment Lending in the same month declined for the first time since February. Perhaps the Australian economy isn’t as resilient as many had originally hoped. May’s such lending was also weaker than initially thought after it was revised down 0.6 percentage points to 1.8%.

Euro Session: What to Expect

The light European calendar offers some insight into the current direction of the region’s economic environment. French Industrial Production, expected to rise 0.2% in July, will be coming off of the largest monthly gain in the figure since November of 2005. This current estimate may be substantially conservative; afterall, the previous month’s expectations called for a 0.2% contraction. Clearly such estimates proved to be poor. Previously released data may also show that French production may be on a spree. The Purchasing Manufacturer’s Index of Manufacturing rose to its highest level since June of 2008. Manufacturing Orders in the country are also expected to rise on the month. Like the industrial production figure, manufacturing orders performed unusually strong in the previous month.

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The foreign exchange market (Currency, Forex, or FX) is where currency trading takes place. It is where banks and other official institutions facilitate the buying and selling of foreign currencies. Forex transactions typically involve one party purchasing a quantity of one currency in exchange for paying a quantity of another. The foreign exchange market that we see today started evolving during the 1970s when world over countries gradually switched to floating exchange rate from their erstwhile exchange rate regime, which remained fixed as per the Bretton Woods system till 1971.

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Forex Turnover

Forex Turnover
Main foreign exchange market turnover, 1988 - 2007, measured in billions of USD.
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