The Australian dollar has rallied from a four-month low against its US Counterpart over the past 24 hours well supported by strong gains across equity markets as well higher commodity prices. Receiving a much needed boost a mid afternoon high of 1.0360 was briefly witnessed after a measure of Australian consumer confidence surged to its highest level in 26 months in February. In a poll conducted by the Melbourne Institute and Westpac, consumer sentiment improved by 7.7 percent, its largest increase since September 2011. With some signs of optimism flowing through from offshore such surveys suggest interest rate cuts are finally starting to lift spirits. In an overall positive session for the Australian dollar the higher yielding unit opens stronger this morning at 1.0338.
We expect a range today of 1.0300 – 1.0360
New Zealand Dollar
It was an uneventful day’s trade for the New Zealand dollar yesterday which mulled between a low of 0.8393 and a high of 0.8404 when compared against the US Dollar. Confining itself to an extremely tight trading ban the growth linked currency finds itself still clinging to the critical 84 US Cents level this morning. Keeping in mind global equity markets now appear at a cross roads sitting just shy of five year highs, investors are keen to continue buying however fundamentals will need to come to the party in order for the ledger to be tipped in favour of another rally. On the outlook today a string of key growth indicators expected to be released from Europe are likely to hold the key for global risk sentiment.
We expect a range today of 0.8380 – 0.8420
Great British Pound:
In a statement made yesterday outgoing Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said Britain faces another period of above target inflation amidst the backdrop of slow economic growth. As part of the Central Bank’s Inflation Report in London King recognised price stability as being the key role of the Monetary Policy Committee whilst recognising the dilemma of having of a weak recovery and above target inflation. Not surprisingly The Great British Pound fell as King spoke overnight tumbling from an opening level of 1.5687 to an eventual low of 1.5522 against its US Counterpart. Falling across the board the Sterling is also significantly lower against both the Australian dollar (1.5027) and the New Zealand dollar (1.8487) this morning.
We expect a range today of 1.5000 -1.5060
Unlike the action and volatilities recently seen from the joint G7 Statement, currency markets have stopped to take a breath over the past 24 hours. With US Stocks falling overnight Retail Sales in the world’s largest economy rose in January for a third straight month. Climbing in line with the median forecast an increase of 0.1 percent was viewed in a generally positive light given household spending is expected to take a small hit due an increase in payroll taxes. Consolidating its recent loses, the USD/JPY opens overall unchanged this morning at 93.4670. Jumping across to European happenings and the Shared Unit also failed to inspire trading between a range of (1.3425 – 1.3518) against its US Counterpart. With nothing in the form of economic data to offer direction investors will eagerly await the release of key growth figures from Germany, Italy, France as well as broader Europe this evening.
MI Inflation expectations,
NZD: Business NZ Manufacturing Index
Prelim GDP q/q, Monetary Policy Statement, Overnight call rate
GBP: No Data today
German Prelim GDP q/q, Italian Prelim GDP q/q, Flash GDP q/q, ECB Monthly Bulletin, French Prelim Non-Farm Payrolls q/q, French Prelim GDP q/q
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