Australia: The Australian Dollar dealt above 0.8700 on Friday night as equity markets traded in a wide range. Today the AUD has opened at 0.8720 with slight improvements in the AUD cross rates as well. The market’s attention was focussed on the weekend’s G20 summit in Toronto and the basic principles of the new financial regulation bill that was agreed between representatives of the US House and Senate. The Bill (all 1,100 pages of it) is still to be passed by the US House and Senate. The large financial firms of the US will not be penalised as much as first feared since they will be able to keep most of their derivatives dealing capability as well as small investments in hedge and private equity funds. The large bank’s share prices moved up on the news but movement in the indices were modest with the Dow down 0.1% to 10,144, S&P 500 up 0.3% to 1,077 and the NASDAQ higher by 0.3% to 2,223. G20 leaders have also called on the world' emerging economies to allow their currencies to float more freely, in a bid to balance world trade, according to draft conclusions from a summit in Toronto. With an eye on Asian currencies that many believe have been undervalued for a long time, the summit has looked to countries with a trade surplus to act. Gold was up 1% to US$1255 an ounce and crude oil jumped over US$2 to almost US$79 a barrel as a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico threatened to cause chaos in oil production and further disrupt the clean up of BP’s oil spill. BP shares fell to a 13-year low as the estimated costs to clean up the spill escalated beyond US$20bn. Today we see the AUD trading in a reasonably tight range.
Majors: The Toronto G20 meeting as expected agreed for member nations to cut budget deficits with the intention for those to be halved in 3 years and to stabilise the levels in another 6 years. There was also general agreement to require banks to hold higher amounts of capital. Both the EUR and GBP were slightly stronger against the USD with levels opening today above 1.2370 and 1.5030, espectively. US Q1 GDP growth that was originally announced at 3% was revised downward to 2.7% that saw bond yields fall as lower revisions were made to consumer spending and business investment. The University of Michigan consumer confidence survey was better than forecast rising to 76, the highest level in 30 months.