Australian Dollar Outlook - 16 January 2013

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Bell FX Currency Outlook: Australian Dollar little changed as US debt ceiling nervousness creeps in.

Australia: The Australian Dollar has opened marginally higher after dipping back to 1.0520 against the US Dollar overnight. The recovery was fuelled by equity markets which regained their lost ground in the New York session.

Global equity markets took a hit overnight as data showed German GDP shrank by 0.5 per cent in the last quarter of 2012, bringing full year growth to only 0.7 per cent.

A recovery in the Yen after four straight days of losses will likely dictate the AUD's moves against the US Dollar today, as a warning from a Japanese minister about the disadvantages of excessive yen weakness prompted a shedding of bearish bets against the currency.

The market will start to focus on domestic employment figures due out tomorrow; where growing expectations for a weak report are starting to weigh on the AUD.

A rise in the unemployment rate to 5.4% from the previous 5.2% is expected. Domestically today will see Westpac Consumer Sentiment figuresreleased at 10:30am along with New Motor Vehicles Sales at 11:30am.

Majors: The looming battle in Washington over the US government borrowing limit weighed on equity markets and saw US treasuries rise overnight.

Investors were cautious as Republican opposition in Congress to increase the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling raises the risk the US could default on upcoming debt.

The likelihood of the US not raising the debt ceiling and declaring default is very low, but a general risk off tone and safe haven buying was present.

US Retail Sales for December rose by 0.5%, well above the expected 0.2%. US equity markets ended the session marginally higher with both the DJIA and the S&P 500 ending the session up 0.1% at 13,530 and 1,472.

European Equities were mixed with the German DAX falling 0.7% to 7,676 and the FTSE gaining 0.2% to 6,117. Commodities were mixed with iron ore posting a 1.1% drop to $152.90.

Oil prices were also lower with WTI futures falling 0.7% to $93.42. Safe haven gold was up 0.7% ending the session at USD 1680.95 per ounce. Tonight will see inflation data released in the US along with TIC data and the Beige Book.

Economic Calendar16 JAN AU Westpac Consumer Confidence IndexJN Consumer ConfidenceUS Consumer Price IndexUS Industrial Production

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