Australia: The Australian Dollar has opened weaker this morning following a fall in equity markets across the board and lower investor risk appetite.

The AUD cross rates continue to perform well, with AUD/EUR trading above EUR0.6900, while AUD/GBP is still above the GBP0.5700 level.

Base metals were lower overnight with copper down 1.6%, nickel down 2.8% and zinc down 2.7%.

Gold rallied overnight to be trading at US$1,226.00 per ounce, up 0.4% on safe-haven buying.

Today locally will see the release of the Australian Construction Work Done, with expectations for a rise of 1%.

On the Australian Election front, the odds have swung overnight, with the Liberal Party now favourites to form Government.

Majors: The US equity markets were sold off overnight following a weaker than expected home sales report.

The US Existing home sales fell 27.2% for the month of July to an annual pace of 3.83 million. Given the weak home sales data investors concerns were that the US economy could have a double -dip recession.

Meanwhile, the US Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index fell to +11 in August down from +16 in July but much better than the expected +8. The German GDP was confirmed at 2.2% in Q2 and 4.1% year on year.

The Euro-zone industrial new orders rose 2.5% in June, better than the market expectations for a rise of 1.5%, taking the annul rate to +22.6% year on year.

Also overnight, credit ratings agency Standard and Poors cut Ireland's credit rating to AA- from AA.

Tonight in the US will see the release of the New Home Sales data for July, durable goods orders for July and the house price index for June.