Australia dealt traders a huge surprise in Asian trading today when its Bureau of Statistics announced that its jobless rate fell last month as the labor market gathered strength, building the case for further interest rate rises. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 per cent in December from a revised 5.6 per cent rate in November. Analysts had expected a rise.

The robust labor recovery underscores the unexpectedly moderate economic downturn, with Australia likely to avoid ever reaching 6 per cent unemployment. This is all the more remarkable when considering that the Australian Federal Government was predicting the rate to rise to 8.5 per cent by the middle of this year.

The AUD/USD leapt on today's better-than-expected news, and will likely continue to outperform in the coming days.



According to data released overnight, core machinery orders fell 11.3% during the month, Japan's Cabinet Office reported. Its core machinery orders plummeted in November despite expectations for an uptick. This data could prove to be the tip of the iceberg in terms of Japan's challenges as core machinery orders are seen as a vital leading indicator for capital spending and therefore future growth there.



Retracing from its weekly lows, Gold has continued its uptrend, re-approaching the 1155.00 level that gave traders so much resistance yesterday. Go Forex traders can expect Gold to retest that resistance level at some point in the immediate future.