Australia: Did anyone really see that coming? Last night’s price action in the market has mirrored the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008. Global stock markets plummeted and a surge in investor risk aversion saw the AUD sold off by 2.3% down to a low of USD0.8711. The AUD was already under pressure yesterday following a weaker than expected retail sales report for March which reinforced expectations that the RBA will leave official rates steady in coming months. Offshore events overshadowed this, however, as investors scrambled for safe haven assets. ECB President Trichet failed to soothe investor nerves over the possible spread of Greece’s sovereign debt problems to other euro-zone countries who also are loaded with debt and annual deficits, ie) Spain and Portugal. The Dow Jones Index caused major chaos when the ‘’fat fingers” of a trader (ex trader?) was blamed for the massive 1,000 point dive in the index. It was reported a trader had reportedly entered a b for billion instead of an m for million in a trade involving Procter and Gamble. In what has been described as white-knuckle 20 minutes, America' top 30 firms saw their shares prices dive 998.5 points, almost nine per cent, wiping out billions in market value. Investors were left scrambling into safe haven assets once again with gold jumping 2.8%. Investor sentiment is going to be the main driver for the AUD and most of the major currencies at the moment with fears of the Greek debt crisis spreading to other countries and triggering a second global financial crisis weighing very heavily on the market. Today the RBA will publish its quarterly Statement on Monetary Policy with its latest forecasts for economic growth and inflation. It’s expected that the RBA will raise both its GDP growth and inflation forecasts modestly and likely suggest that it will need to raise interest rates to above average in the future.
Majors: Apart from the EUR and the USD being in the spotlight overnight, the GBP also plummeted as voters went to the polls. Fears of a possible hung parliament shadowed the currency, with the GBP down nearly 2% against the USD. Investors will now await Friday’s resolution to the election, with a strong showing for one party a positive for the Sterling. US unemployment numbers tonight but pale really as we go into Friday all around the global markets.