Australia: The Australian Dollar fell again overnight, trading to a low of USD0.9025 due to ongoing risk aversion. The European debt concerns weighed on markets with concern growing that the Greek debt crisisis spreading to other European countries. Reports suggest that ratings agency Moody's will downgrade Portugal's ratings and the continued uncertainty in regards to Greece has seen the EUR tumble, with AUD/EUR trading to a new high of 0.9070. Base metals were weaker overnight with Nickel falling 11% on oversupply concerns while zinc, aluminium
and lead fell 1%, 2% and 6% respectively. Gold edged higher trading to US$1,175 per ounce on safe haven buying, while crude oil fell to US$79.62 a barrel as a US inventory report for last week showed stockpiles rising and a stronger US Dollar. The mining tax has weighed on markets locally with investors spooked by the proposed tax. Rio Tinto has announced that they will put an $11bn iron ore expansion project on hold and many believe that other companies will do the same. Today locally will see the release of Australian retail sales and trade balance data for March.
Majors: The US Dollar continued to gain support overnight, trading to a 13-month high against the EUR and breaking the 1.2800 level as the European debt issues continued to be the focus for the markets. Overnight, European Central Bank council member Axel Weber said there is a threat of grave contagion effects for other member states in the monetary union and increasing negative feedback loop effects on capital markets. Violent protests continued in Greece yesterday with three people killed following a fire-bombing attack on a bank. In the US overnight some positive data releases, with US employment data showing some signs of improvement. The US MBA Mortgage Market Index, for the week ending 30 April, climbed 4% as homebuyers rushed to take advantage of the federal tax credit, which expired on April 30. Purchase applications increased 13%, while refinancing dropped 2.1%.