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FOREX
FOREX: AUD has struggled following weak AU data prints, ahead of the RBA's
MonPol decision. Retail sales fell 0.4% M/M in Dec vs. exp. of unch. amidst
RBA's concern re: consumer behaviour in the face of the downturn in housing
prices, while a wider than exp. trade surplus masked a disappointing breakdown.
The underperforming AUD also dragged NZD lower vs. the remainder of G10 FX. 
- JPY has also struggled, with USD/JPY capped by Y110.00 thus far. 
- There was little reaction to the latest comments from Fed's Mester, as the
previously hawkish non-voter followed up on her more balanced/cautious addresses
made in early Jan, once again citing tighter financial conditions & sentiment as
downside risks. Although Mester ultimately noted that if the economy performs as
she expects, the fed funds rate may need to move "a bit" higher. Meanwhile, the
Fed revealed that Chair Powell & Vice-Chair Clarida had dinner with U.S. Pres.
Trump & Tsy Sec Mnuchin on Monday. Chair Powell's comments in this setting were
consistent with his remarks at his press conference of last week. 
- Focus turns to the aforementioned RBA MonPol decision, UK & EZ services PMIs,
U.S. ISM non-mfing PMI, as well as remarks from Riksbank's Ingves & Jochnick.

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