Aussie drops as RBA surprises and holds rates unchanged at 3.75% - Feb 2

 @ibtimes
on February 02 2010 5:44 PM

As Reserve Bank of Australia unexpectedly kept interest rates unchanged at 3.75% versus economists' forecast of a rate hike to 4.00% on Tuesday on the consideration that 'credit conditions remained difficult in major countries and concerns regarding some sovereign have increased.', the Australian dollar fell to its lowest level in six weeks versus the greenback to 0.8780, dragging eur/yen, euro and cable lower. Aud/usd then rebounded on short-covering in European morning.

Euro fell initially in Asian morning after RBA held rates unchanged to as low as 1.3886 against the dollar. Despite euro's brief rise to 1.3952 in European morning, the single currency retreated due to renewed risk aversion on concerns about a possible debt default by one or more member states, which in turn might threaten the euro and even the existence of the eurozone. Later, as Eurozone PPI came in at 0.1% m/m and -2.9% y/y in December versus the expectation of 0.0% m/m as well as -3.0% respectively, the single currency edged higher after the stronger-than-expected PPI data. However, euro's gain in N.Y afternoon was capped after the Greek finance minister said the country's problems were a eurozone issue and other countries like Spain and Portugal could follow .

The greenback maintained a firm undertone after yesterday's rally to 90.94 versus the Japanese yen in Australia following the release of strong U.S. ISM manufacturing index. After the RBA's rate decision, the pair retreated and moved sideways as investors waited for the release of U.S. pending home sales and the testimony by U.S. Treasury Geithner. U.S. pending home sales index rose by 1.0% to 96.6 from downwardly revised reading of 95.60. and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner appealed to Republicans to join a bipartisan bid to wrestle down soaring deficits that he blamed largely on the former Bush administration. The dollar fell to as low as 90.26 against the yen as U.S. equities pared early gain and turned into negative territory.

Data to be released on Wednesday include U.K. Nationwide consumer confidence, Australia trade balance, Germany retail sales, Germany services PMI, U.K. services PMI, EU retail sales, U.S. ADP employment and U.S. ISM non-manufacturing.

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