Well, it was a quiet overnight session right up until around 2 a.m. EST when Iran was targeted by simultaneous terror attacks.
Gunmen entered Parliament in Tehran and the Imam Khomeini Shrine where one of the attackers detonated a suicide vest. ISIS would later claim responsibility via Amaq. At least 12 people were killed and dozens more were injured.
It’s worth noting that these aren’t exactly “soft” targets. Tehran is tightly policed and the security presence is formidable. Further, people don’t just waltz around Tehran brandishing AKs. This isn’t Mogadishu.
And while it is notable that the attackers were able to pull this off, it’s not entirely surprising that Parliament was targeted. Religious minorities have representation in the body and that, in and of itself, is abhorrent to groups like ISIS.
Of course the Iranians “don’t play that shit” (to put it colloquially) when it comes to letting things rattle them. For instance, here’s parliament speaker Ali Larijani’s assessment of Wednesday’s events:
This is a minor issue but reveals that the terrorists pursue troublemaking.
Or, more simply, “oh well, fuck ’em.”
That said, I wouldn’t want to be a Sunni rebel POW held by Hezbollah in Syria right about now.
Anyway, that rather unfortunate “incident” triggered some yen buying in a flight-to-safety episode that looks to have been largely faded since.
“The news of shootings in Iran parliament provided another round of yen buying,” traders in Europe told Bloomberg. That after USD/JPY rebounded on short-covering and buying from Japanese importers.
Meanwhile, the euro took a dive about an hour ago on news that the ECB is likely to cut inflation forecasts through 2019 because of weaker energy prices. That buoyed the broad dollar:
It’s also worth noting that we got China FX reserves data overnight. That’s always important but especially now, given the effort to strengthen the yuan and Beijing’s plans to start buying USTs again. Here’s the rundown via Bloomberg:
- China End-May Forex Reserves at $3.0536t; Est. $3.0460t
- That compared with $3.0295t as of end-April, according to data from People’s Bank of China.
- Median estimate $3.0460t (range $3.0000t to $3.0700t, 25 economists)
- End-May forex reserves rose $24.03b from end-April: Bloomberg calculation
- China forex reserves rise for 4th month, longest run since June 2014
- End-May SDR-denominated forex reserves at SDR 2.21t vs SDR 2.21t at end-April
- End-May IMF reserve position at $9.79b vs $9.69b at end- April
- End-May SDRs at $9.97b vs $9.86b at end-April
Finally, here’s some data from Germany as a perhaps notable afterthought:
- Germany April Factory Orders Fall 2.1% M/m; Est. -0.3% M/m
- Germany’s Federal Statistics Office reports workday adjusted factory orders up 3.5% y/y vs est. up 4.7% y/y.
- Forecast range -2.2% to 1.4% m/m from 38 economists
- Capital goods orders fall 3.6% m/m
- Consumer goods orders fall 0.8% m/m
- Basic goods orders rise 0.1% m/m
Global markets snapshot:
- Nikkei up 0.02% to 19,984.62
- Topix up 0.04% to 1,597.09
- Hang Seng Index down 0.09% to 25,974.16
- Shanghai Composite up 1.2% to 3,140.33
- Sensex up 0.07% to 31,213.07
- Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.01% to 5,667.17
- Kospi down 0.4% to 2,360.14
- FTSE 7520.35 -4.60 -0.06%
- DAX 12723.24 33.12 0.26%
- CAC 5314.68 45.46 0.86%
- IBEX 35 10877.80 -1.90 -0.02%