New Zealand business confidence survey (NZIER) for the first quarter came out at 23 which was higher than estimates of 20 and reflected the growing optimism within the business community. Comments from Japanese Finance Minister Aso stating that the Yens' excessive gains are in the process of being corrected saw USD/JPY fall from 99.66 to 99.08. Japanese Economy Minister Amari was also on the wires saying that the market determines the FX rates. This may be important only for the fact that the rhetoric seems to have commenced ahead of the 100 level as they try to inject some risk into what has been a one-way trade. The Euro popped higher to 1.3066 in what appears to be a stop driven move. The 1.3065/75 level is a key resistance level and any follow through could see the pair target the 1.3140/50 level.
Australia business conditions fell to the weakest level in almost four years as consumer dependent sectors and mining slowed. There was some recovery in construction and there seems to be signs that the slew of rate cuts appear to be working to gradually strengthen activity in the retail, wholesale and manufacturing sectors.
China’s inflation eased to 2.1% last month from a 10-month-high as food-price gains ebbed, reducing pressure on policy makers to tighten credit as the world’s second-largest economy recovers from a slowdown.