Australian Dollar Outlook - 24 January 2013

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By Christine Gaylican | January 24, 2013 9:59 AM EST

Bell FX Currency Outlook: Australian Dollar finds support on US dollar weakness as it shrugs off weaker local data.

Australia: The Australian dollar has recovered some lost ground this morning after weaker than expected domestic CPI figures, and a downgrade from the IMF on its economic forecast for Europe overnight weighed on the currency.

Domestic CPI for the December quarter rose only 0.2% - lower than the expected 0.5% which saw the AUD dip slightly in yesterday's session.

The local unit started to recover ground toward the end of the session as markets weighed up the potential impact on Australia's Central Bank.

The RBA are due to meet next Tuesday for its monthly meeting and rate decision; at its last meeting in December the RBA cut the cash rate by 25bp to 3.0%.

Looking ahead today, Chinese manufacturing data due for release could see a shift out of the current trading range for the AUD and will provide direction for markets.

Majors: In the latest World Economic Outlook update, the IMF has downgraded its growth forecast for 2013 from 3.6% to 3.5%.

They are less worried about some financial risks for Europe, but stagnation still remains a major concern. With financial market optimism perhaps getting ahead of the "real" economy, the IMF expects the Eurozone to remain in recession throughout 2013.

The pound was mostly unresponsive to the UK prime Minister's announcement that he will offer a referendum following the 2015 election on Britain's EU membership.

Over in the US, the Republican House of Representatives has passed a bill to raise the debt ceiling - allowing the government to continue to borrow money until mid-May.

Both US and European stocks moved higher overnight, buoyed by strong company earnings reports and the debt limit news. The S&P 500 gained 0.2% to 1,495 - technology shares will be in focus tonight with Apple earnings due, following strong results from both IBM and Google.

The DJIA also gained closing 0.6% higher at 13,789. European equities were mixed with the German DA gaining 0.1% to 7,708 and the FTSE adding 0.3% to close at 6,198.

Gold prices were lower after a report showing a rise in euro zone consumer confidence capped investor's interest in the metal.

Spot gold declined 0.3% to USD 1,686 per ounce. Oil was mixedwith WTI futures declining 1.3% to USD 95.3 per barrel and Brent rising 0.7% to USD 113.0 per barrel. Metal prices were mostly higher, with commodities mixed. Tonight will see US jobless claims along with a plethora of Eurozone data due for release.
Economic Calendar
24 JAN EU Jan PMI Manufacturing
US Initial Jobless claims
US Dec leading indicators
CH Jan HSBC Flash Manufacturing PMI

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