Australian Dollar Outlook - 19 February 2013

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Bell FX Currency Outlook: The Australian Dollar has opened little changed this morning in relatively quiet markets.

Australia: The Australian Dollar has opened flat this morning after the US markets were closed for the President's Day public holiday. The local unit traded in a tight range overnight to open around 1.0300 against the Greenback this morning.

The dollar has been creeping lower in recent weeks as the prospect of another interest rate cut by the RBA is weighing on the currency; although support at 1.0250 seems to be holding for now.

Trading will likely be subdued this morning ahead of the RBA minutes released at 11:30am, which should provide some direction.

The bank kept interest rates on hold at their February 5th meeting so investors will watch the minutes keenly for a clearer picture of the RBA's intention and any further potential rate cuts.

High selling pressure remains on the AUD and a break below 1.0250 could open up the path toward 1.0150, especially if the RBA does cut rates at their March 5th meeting.

China's markets resumed trade Friday after the lunar New Year holiday last week, with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce stating that retail sales during the festivities were the weakest since 2009.

Majors: European bond and equity markets mostly consolidated overnight ending the session little changed.

ECB president Draghi's comments to the European Parliament repeated the central banks position that the exchange rate is not a policy target, but is important for growth and price stability.

Mr. Draghi also noted the euro is around it's long term averages and urged officials to be disciplined when talking about currencies. The German DAX rose 0.5% to close at 7,629 while the FTSE declined by 0.2% to 6,318.

Tonight will see the European ZEW Economic Sentiment Index released. Expectations are for a jump to 35.0 from 31.5 indicating the worst could be behind for Germany.

Oil prices traded narrowly mixed in thin trade with the close of US markets and gold prices edged lower also in the thing conditions.

Economic Calendar19 FEB AU RBA Policy Meeting - February MinutesJN BoJ Policy Meeting -Minutes 21/22 JanEU ECB's Asmussen Speaks in BratislavaUS Revisions of CPI & Housing Price Index

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