Bell FX Currency Outlook: The Australian Dollar has opened today in the mid 1.0300's after a fairly uneventful day of trading on Friday.
One Euro coins are pictured after being minted at the Austrian national mint in Vienna in this file photo.
Australia: On Friday, export prices in Australia for Q1 were down more than expected at 7% while import prices fell 1.2%. Investors were
somewhat encouraged by further pledges of USD430bn to the IMF, although Managing Director Lagarde was aiming for a higher figure of USD600bn.
It is interesting to note that the US did not participate in this additional round of pledges for funding, and there is some consternation by some other developed non-European nations that the focus of the IMF is purely on potential European sovereign debt issues over the next few years.
A small improvement in the German IFO survey helped sentiment as did better than expected earnings from General Electric and Microsoft in the US for Q1. This flowed through to equity markets with the German DAX and Euro Stoxx 50, both rising by 1.2%, which carried onto to the US where the Dow rose again to over 13,000 (up 0.5%) and the S&P 500 and
NASDAQ registered a small gain and loss, respectively.
Today in Australia we will see the release of the Q1 PPI where the market expects a 0.5% qoq result. Tomorrow, the CPI for the first quarter will be announced with most analysts expecting a rise of 0.7%qoq.
The market believes that regardless of the figure the RBA will drop rates by 25 bps on Tuesday, May 1, when they next meet. Later this morning China's HSBC flash PMI data for April will be announced that might move the AUD.
Majors: The G-20 and central bankers meeting in Washington produced no real surprises although US Treasury Secretary Geithner continues to urge European finance ministers to be more "creative" in helping to solve the problems of Europe. We find that an interesting comment in light of the US's ongoing budget issues.
The slightly better than expected German IFO survey for April along with better retail sales in the UK for March helped sentiment in general and maintained the firm tone in the EUR and especially the GBP versus the USD.
Tonight European PMI data for April will be announced and the market is expecting a slightly better result than last month although it still may remain below the key figure of 50. Anything higher than that indicates expansion. In France,
President Sarkozy and Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande progressed to the second round of the presidential election due to be held on May 6.
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