:: Australian Dollar: The Australian Dollar opens largely unchanged from this time yesterday at 0.8015. The Aussie received a boost on Wednesday from a 12.7 per cent rise in May consumer sentiment – the largest monthly increase in 22 years. In offshore trade, the unit hit a high over 0.8100. Whilst there has been more talk lately about “green shoots” than an episode of Burke's Backyard, today's May unemployment data looms large for the Australian Dollar where a return to a rate of 5.7 per cent is expected by most economists.

- We expect a range today in the AUD/USD rate of 0.7920 to 0.8100

:: Great Britain Pound: Pound Sterling moved higher overnight and opens against its US counterpart today at 1.6342 as attention turns away from political turmoil and back to the economy for the time being. UK equity markets climbed to a one-week high and a government report showed manufacturing in the UK expanded for a second consecutive month in April. Meanwhile, the pound remains steady against both the Australian Dollar (2.0364) and the New Zealand Dollar (2.5915).

- We expect a range today in the GBP/AUD rate of 2.0150 to 2.0420

:: New Zealand Dollar: The New Zealand Dollar has rallied sharply this morning against its US counterpart and opens at 0.6287 after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) left interest rates on hold at 2.5 per cent. This is the first time since June 2008 that interest rates have been left unchanged after a series of cuts. However RBNZ Governor Mr Allan Bollard has left the door open for further rate cuts between now and well into 2010 and considers “it appropriate to provide further stimulus to the economy”. Meanwhile, against the Australian Dollar, the kiwi is trading at 0.7840.

- We expect a range today in the NZD/USD rate of 0.6180 to 0.6325

:: Majors: The big dollar has moved higher against the Euro overnight and opens on Thursday at 1.3964 as last night's release of the Federal Reserve's Beige Book noted that “the downward trend is showing signs of moderating”. The Beige Book is a multi-district business survey and this month's edition, released two weeks before the Federal Reserve's next interest rate decision, appeared to centre around the words “stable” and “stabilize”. However it should be noted that economic conditions remain weak. Also on the mind of traders last night were poor auction results for 10-year treasury notes reflecting underlying fears of rate hikes down the track. Meanwhile, the dollar is also higher against the Japanese Yen and opens today at 98.20.

:: Data Releases:

  • AUD: Unemployment, May
  • CAD: Capacity Utilisation, Q1
  • EUR: ECB Monthly Report
  • GBP: No Data Today
  • JPY: GDP, Q1
  • NZD: RBNZ Official Cash Rate, June
  • USD: Retail Sales/ex autos, May; Inventories, April