The Australian Dollar has surged above USD1.0800, yet another post-float high.
Australia: After consolidating in the low 1.0700’s during the Easter period, the Australian Dollar commenced trading locally at 1.0784 and has since burst through 1.0800 as the USD remains under considerable pressure ahead of the FOMC announcement tomorrow morning. Strong US company earnings continue to see equity markets post gains. Today will see the release of the Australian March quarter CPI is released, a very key figure.
An increase in the headline figure, with higher food prices from the effects of the floods and high fuel prices, will place pressure on the RBA with rates later this year. While the RBA has mentioned these fluctuations in inflation are expected, and they would be looking beyond them in regards to monetary policy, the strong AUD is helping keep inflation in check with a rate hike by the RBA in the second half of the year being priced into the market. The AUD seems to want to prove irresistible while the US and FOMC scenario plays itself out.
Majors: The US dollar continues to be sold off as investors await the FOMC meeting tonight and Fed Chairman Bernanke’s inaugural press conference. The market is expecting the FOMC to announce that they will fully complete the QE2 as mentioned previously but the recent comments by some Fed members in regards to ending the program early have caused some debate.
While some concern which has been weighing on the US dollar is how the Fed will exit the QE2 program. Base metals finished lower overnight with copper down 1.7%, nickel down 0.9% and zinc down 4.3%. Gold eased slightly to be trading at US$ 1,503.00 per ounce while oil down 0.1% at US $112.21 a barrel. As mentioned above strong company reporting saw equity markets finish firmer with Ford, 3M, UPS and UBS Bank continues to show that US companies are performing well.
Overnight data in the US saw the release of the US Consumer Confidence report a rise to 65.4 in April slightly better than the market had expected. The US new home sales rose 11.1% to 300k after the 13.5% fall in February, while the Case Shiller house prices fell 0.2% in February.
Economic Calendar AU Consumer Prices 1QUS FOMC Rate DecisionUS MBA Mortgage Applications 22/04