:: Australian Dollar: The Australian Dollar opens lower (0.9260) this morning weighed down by little movement in global equity markets last night and further Greek Sovereign debit worries. In offshore trade the Australian Dollar hit a low of 0.9250 and a high of 0.9331. The release yesterday of the Westpac/Melbourne Institute Leading Index (a composite index based on 9 economic indicators) showed a small rise from previous 0.4% to 0.5% (it's highest reading in 1 and a half years) adding further evidence that the local economy is on a the right track with economic growth expected to continue and interest rates poised to rise further. After the release the Australian Dollar made small and steady steps towards 0.9330 but it was in early European trade that the dollar was sold down as a bout of risk aversion took hold. New Motor Vehicles Sales for the month are out this morning but the effect of this number will have minimal impact on Aussie direction.
- We expect a range today in the AUD/USD rate of 0.9220 to 0.9320
:: Great Britain Pound: The polls continue to suggest a hung parliament for the impending UK election scheduled for the 06th May is on the cards with neither of the 3 parties having control of parliament. Last night the Pound traded between 1.5360 and 1.5440 against the Greenback - with direction taken from the BoE minutes and domestic data. The minutes from the Bank of England's previous meeting indicated that all members were in favour of leaving the cash rate at 0.5% and leaving the QE programme in place, however members did make mention of a recent surge in inflation although it hadn't changed enough to substantially alter it's view of the economy. Adding too Sterling volatility overnight was the release by the Office of National Statistics that UK Jobless claims fell 32,900 for February. Despite this positive result it was the Unemployment rate (actual 8%, forecast 7.8%) that kept a lid on the GBPUSD advance. Against its southern hemisphere rivals, the Pound is steady against the Australian Dollar (1.6600) and New Zealand Dollar (2.1700).
- We expect a range today in the GBP/AUD rate of 1.6520 to 1.6680
:: New Zealand Dollar: The New Zealand Dollar opens lower this morning at 0.7092 against the US Dollar. Overnight the NZ Dollar moved between 0.7074 and 0.7131. A relatively strong reading in the CPI released Tuesday has the market wondering if the Reserve Bank of New Zealand will change its recent rhetoric in relation to increasing interest rates sooner rather than later with the potential of inflation creeping higher within the domestic economy. With no significant data out of New Zealand until next Wednesday's RBNZ meeting, the Kiwi will take direction from offshore events and happenings.
- We expect a range today in the NZD/USD rate of 0.7050 to 0.7150
:: Majors: With no domestic data released overnight Stateside the Greenback to its direction from UK and European data and opens up against the EURO (1.3386), down against the British Pound (1.5401) and steady against the Japanese Yen (93.10). Further sovereign debt issues and the fact that talks are underway by Greece and EU officials to access the EUR45 billion loan (EUR30 billion from the EU and EUR15 billion from the IMF) curtailed any EURO buying with the currency falling to a low of 1.3356. This is the fifth successive day that the EURO is down against the Greenback with many analysts predicting further EURO weakness to come should the debt issue not be resolved anytime soon. Tonight's Unemployment Claims and Existing Home Sales should provided some US Dollar movement with both sets of numbers expected to come in close to forecast. The G20 Finance Ministers meeting also kicks off today.
:: Data Releases:
- AUD: New Motor Vehicle Sales
- CAD: Leading Index
- EUR: German & French Flash Service and Manufacturing PMI
- GBP: Retails Sales; Prelim Mortgage Approvals
- JPY: BoJ Governor Shirakawa Speaks
- NZD: No data slated for release
- USD: Unemployment Claims; PPI; Exisiting Home Sales