:: Australian Dollar: The Aussie rallied overnight after hawkish comments from RBA Governor Glenn Stevens sparked speculation that an interest rate hike may be ahead. It's not wise to leave interest rates right down at rock bottom any longer than you need, said Stevens during an interview with Australia's Channel Seven. Commodities also gained overnight as encouraging signs from the US and Europe suggested economic recovery is underway. The Aussie opens higher today buying 0.9175 US ahead of this week's upcoming retail sales with economists forecasting another 0.3% increase.
- We expect a range today in the AUD/USD rate of 0.9120 to 0.9220
:: Great Britain Pound: The Pound surged to 1.5018 against the US dollar early offshore as net lending to individuals in the UK increased 2.1billion from the previous month. Although net lending exceeded market expectations of 1.8 billion, mortgage approvals unexpectedly fell to a nine month low of 47,000 in February and consequently the Pound fell below 1.5000. Credit constraints hindering the UK's recovery has created a negative outlook in the minds of investors as the Sterling opens today at 1.4983 USD after a relatively flat night of trading. Meanwhile the Pound opens lower against the Aussie at 1.6330 and 2.1115 Kiwi ahead of more U.K economic data in the form of fourth quarter Current Account and GDP tonight.
- We expect a range today in the GBP/AUD rate of 1.6280 to 1.6400
:: New Zealand Dollar: In light of positive news from Europe the Kiwi rose to a high of 0.7115 US offshore as investor risk appetite increased with improved economic sentiment. The Kiwi lost some ground as investors sold off the currency turning to the more attractive Aussie in the wake of positive US data. The Kiwi opens this morning at 0.7095 after the N.Z Government rejected calls by the IMF to reign in its first deficit in nine years.
- We expect a range today in the NZD/USD rate of 0.7050 to 0.7140
:: Majors: Positive German inflation and European economic confidence figures boosted the Euro above 1.3500 US dollars early in offshore. German CPI accelerated 0.5%, the fasted in sixteen months, beating market expectations of 0.3% rise. European confidence also beat forecasts by economists improving to 97.7, the highest level in almost two years. Offshore the Yen also made inroads on the US dollar finding a bottom at 92.41. Both the Euro and Yen fell as US consumer spending rose for the fifth consecutive month spurring demand for higher yielding assets. Today the Euro and Yen open higher at 1.3480 and 92.466 US in light of improved sentiment.
:: Data Releases:
- AUD: Assistant RBA Governor Speaks
- NZD: Feb Building Permits
- USD: Mar Consumer Confidence
- GBP: Q4 GDP, Q4 Current Account & Nationwide House Prices
- EUR: Feb German Import Prices
- JPY: Feb Jobless Rate, Feb Industrial Production & Feb Household Spending