Australian Dollar Outlook - 23 February 2013

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By Christine Gaylican | February 22, 2013 12:21 PM EST

Bell FX Currency Outlook:The Australian Dollar hit a 4-month low in early morning trade due to a number of issues which
has dampened recent market confidence, but did find support at this key level.

Australia: USD 1.0225 has been touted as a key support level and it has been tested now, with the next significant level to be aware of being USD 1.0150.

Factors weighing on the AUD overnight were varied. News the Chinese government is curbing property speculation with prices being over-heated had an effect.

Data from the Euro Zone (consumer confidence and manufacturing activity) was disappointing. Yesterday's release of the US Federal Reserve's January policy meeting's minutes, which led to concerns of an early end to US economic stimulus, affected "risk assets" (and this includes the AUD).

Today we have the Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens' semi-annual appearance before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics from 9:30 AEST.

While he is likely to reiterate themes from recent RBA communications (that the Bank maintains an easing bias), it's widely
expected the Bank is comfortable to sit tight to gauge further effects from its policy easing to date.

The markets will be looking for hints about where the Governor sees the risks tilted about the investment and employment outlooks in Australia.

Considering the surrounding influences since midweek from global equities, the USD, gold, copper and the like, the AUD's
performance has been relatively sturdy. Note exporter demand has been significant and this should continue to be the case

Majors: The EUR fell following the weaker-than-expected PMIs, which pushed the EUR to new 5-week lows below 1.3170. The GBP rose modestly after the release of better-than-expected UK government finance figures.

The IMF released its report to the G-20, saying concerns over the depreciation of the JPY seem 'overstated' while the USD has depreciated mostly towards medium-term fundamentals.

The IMF encourages further 'resolve' in Japan to exit deflation and believes a substantially expanded asset purchase program is required. The main focus for currency markets offshore will be the Italian elections over the weekend.
Economic Calendar
22 FEB AU RBA Stevens before the Houe of Reps Eco Committe
CH Jan Property Prices
GE Feb IFO - Business Climate
EC European Commision Economic growth forecast

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