:: Australian Dollar: The Australian Dollar opens at a 5-week high against the greenback on Thursday at 0.9200. Yesterday's local session was largely comprised of range trading between US91 cents and 0.9120. The release of stronger-than-expected Australian building data took the currency to an intraday high of 0.9140. Approvals rose 5.9 per cent to 13,724 units in November and helped underpin the Aussie as the Reserve Bank is likely to be looking very closely at these numbers when they next meet in February. Retail Sales data for November is due for release today at 11:30 AEDT which will also be closely watched by financial markets. After a brief overnight dip to 0.9097, the Aussie rallied steadily throughout the offshore session towards this morning's opening level.

- We expect a range today in the AUD/USD rate of 0.9150 to 0.9240 

:: Great Britain Pound: Pound Sterling opens largely unchanged on Thursday against its U.S. counterpart at 1.6010. Economic woes continue to weigh on the pound after a report released last night showed U.K consumer confidence fell in December by the most in more than 12 months. In overnight trade the pound moved between 1.5936 and 1.6063. The Bank of England meet tonight and interest rates are widely tipped to remain at 0.50 per cent. The pound opens weaker against both the Australian Dollar (1.7350) and the New Zealand Dollar (2.1680).

- We expect a range today in the GBP/AUD rate of 1.7250 to 1.7420 

:: New Zealand Dollar: The New Zealand Dollar opens higher against the greenback on Thursday at 0.7375. Ranges were once again confined between US73 cents and 0.7350 during yesterday's local trading session. High-yielding currencies have been supported during the past few sessions as investors scale back their greenback positions ahead this week's U.S. jobs report. During overnight trade, the unit moved between a low of 0.7300 and a high of 0.7384. The kiwi remains strong on the cross-rates and is trading at an 18-month high of 0.5105 against the Euro.

- We expect a range today in the NZD/USD rate of 0.7340 to 0.7410 

:: Majors: The Euro advanced against the greenback overnight after minutes from the December meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve revealed debate over increasing and extending asset purchases should the economy weaken. The Euro opens on Thursday on its overnight high of 1.4428 having rallied steadily throughout the session from a low of 1.4282. Unlike the last two weeks of 2009, investors have scaled back their greenback positions and moved into higher-yielding currencies ahead of tomorrow's U.S. jobs report.

:: Data Releases:

  • AUD: Retail Sales, Nov
  • CAD: No data today
  • EUR: EZ Retail Sales, Dec
  • GBP: BoE Interest Rate Decision
  • JPY: No data today
  • NZD: Trade Balance, Nov
  • USD: No data today