Australia: The AUD has opened fairly unchanged this morning currently trading around USD0.8690. The AUD did strengthen during the offshore session before it fell victim to profit taking and some risk averse trading.

With the news of a downgrade in Ireland's sovereign debt rating and also the upcoming European bank stress tests, this saw some investors take some money out of the AUD.

Today sees the release of the RBA's minutes from its July board meeting where it left the cash rate unchanged at 4.5%.

Many investors will be closely looking at the report for an indication, as to when, if and in which direction, the next move in interest rates may be.

RBA Governor Glenn Stevens will speak to economists at lunch in Sydney this afternoon.

The topic of the speech is Some Long Run Effects of the Financial Crisis and may give the market further indication on his view of the Australia economy and its resilience. We see AUD steady near near 0.8700 today.

Majors: As mentioned above, Moodys have downgraded Ireland's debt rating from Aa1 to Aa2, with the main concerns over the increasing levels of debt and the weaker growth prospects in the region.

Despite this release, the EUR/USD broke through the USD1.3000 for the first time in two months, as investors await the initial results from the European bank stress tests, which are due on Friday.

Investor confidence in the region is at an all time high with many expecting the results will show the banks in the regions financial system are sound.

The US economic recovery continues to concern investors, and this may not change, as data releases this week are expected to show the economy is showing signs of slight slow down.

Tonight sees the release of US housing starts with an expected decrease of 2.8%. A decrease in US existing home sales is also expected later in the week.

Consumer confidence is also due out in the United States tonight, which will indicate how the consumers see the recovery and it's stage.

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