Australia: The AUD made a decisive push towards USD1.0400 overnight and is still holding fairly strong around USD1.0360 following a lead from offshore equity markets, a rise in commodity prices and a lack of negative developments out of Europe boosting investor optimism.
Ben Bernanke in Washington, D.C.
Overnight saw the release of the Fed's Beige Book which supported Ben Bernanke's view that the US economy had lost momentum indicating that growth was 'modest and moderate' for the month of June and early July. This saw the USD weaken and the AUD benefit.
The release didn't have too much of an effect on the investors' confidence, as many are of the thought that if some of the top tier data out of the US continues to disappoint, then this will force the Fed into action and commence QE3. The AUD/EUR also traded
up to a record high, trading above EUR0.8400.
The AUD continues to look offshore for direction, with a lack of top tier data due out for the remainder
of this week. Today see's the release of NAB's Business Survey for Q2.
This will give us a greater indication in comparison to the monthly reads; however it is unlikely to be market moving. Expect the AUD to hold fairly strong around these levels during our local trading session today.
Majors: As mentioned above equity markets across the board were stronger overnight. Positive earnings reports from Intel, Honeywell and Ebay helped boost the markets in the US, while in Europe announcements from Credit Suisse (the second biggest bank in Sweden) boosted markets in Europe.
In the US the DOW was up 0.8% the S&P500 up 0.7% and the Nasdaq was up 1.1%. In Europe gains were stronger with Germany's DAX up 1.6% the FTSE up 1% and the Euro Stoxx up 1.5%.
The June housing starts data released in the US overnight beat market expectations, with housing starts coming in a 760k well above the expectation of an increase of 745k. This release follows previous month's positive results and shows that residential construction is well and truly on a clear up-trend.
19 JULY AU NAB Business Survey
UK Retail Sales
US Initial Jobless Claims
US Existing Home Sales
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