Bell FX Currency Outlook: The Australian Dollar followed the lead from Wall Street overnight and is maintaining its momentum.
Australia: The Australian Dollar is half a US cent higher as US stocks posted a sixth successive daily rise in what was a thin trading session for currency markets.
Currencies taking front and centre stage and overshadowing the AUD's consolidation above 1.0350.
With little economic reports on the calendar, currency markets took what small direction they could from equity markets, which
continued to push higher overnight.
The local session is expected to be quiet as markets await key domestic employment figures for February due on Thursday.
Modest jobs growth are predicted and should there be a better than expected result, this will most likely reduce expectations of further interest rate cuts and may well send the AUD higher.
Conversely, a weaker figure will weigh on the currency. Today will see NAB Business confidence figures due at 11:30am.
Majors: Renewed optimism over the US economy and easy monetary policy from the Federal Reserve has seen US stocks approach 5 and half year highs overnight.
Wall Street overcame early losses following disappointing China data released over the weekend, which cast doubts as to whether growth is strong enough to provide growth for elsewhere in the world.
Surprisingly strong US jobs report last week along with encouraging housing data, has reinforced appetite for stocks and views of
the market posting further gains with continued help from the Fed.
The DJIA closed 0.3% higher at 14,447. The VIX or "fear index" fell to its lowest level since April 2007 shedding 5.5% to 11.7. The cut to Italy's credit rating by Fitch late Friday night and lower Chinese data spurred a selloff in European markets, with bonds and equities lower.
The German DAX and FTSE closed little changed at 7,984 and 6,504. In addition to Italy's downgrade, the slower than expected growth in Chinese factory output dampened investor sentiment on oil, copper and other raw materials.
WTI futures closed higher at USD 91.85 per barrel while Brent fell to USD $110.12 a barrel. Safe haven gold posted modest gains closing up 0.2% at USD 1,579.70 an ounce.
Tonight will see UK Industrial Production and trade figures due, providing some relevance to the "triple dip" recession debate in the UK.
12 MAR AU NAB Business Conditions & Confidence
AU RBA Credit Card Balances & Purchases
US Monthly Budget Statement Feb
JN BoJ Minutes
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