It's been a week of extremes for the Aussie dollar which kicked off near to post-float highs but now sits around 2.5 percent lower over the week. After suffering under the weight of global growth concerns overnight, the local unit continued its south-bound trajectory today falling near 0.3% since 8am this morning. The A$ took a hit in the ensuing period of the retail sales release which showed a 0.1 percent fall in June against predictions of 0.4 percent growth. The trade balance also fell short of estimates to record a seasonally adjusted surplus of $2,052m in June 2011 to represent a fall of $647m from a month earlier. Considering the level of global anxiety in the market at the moment suddenly Westpac's recent contrary view local interest rates are likely to be cut is not looking so extreme. If nothing else, today's data adds credence to the RBA's decision to remain on the side lines in yesterday's policy meeting. At the time of writing the Aussie dollar is buying 107.45 US cents.
For proof of the extreme levels of uncertainty plaguing global markets, look no further the performance of the safe haven units. The perceived safety of the Swiss franc and Japanese Yen continued to remain in vogue overnight with both the Euro, sterling and US dollar recording respective all-time lows. Meanwhile gold has continued to go from strength-to-strength forging a new all-time high $US1,662.00 a troy ounce. Now that the debt ceiling debacle is - for the most part - done and dusted, the focus is now on the macro picture in the US with European debt fears remaining of equal consideration. Overnight this theme of uncertainty continues to drill into the heart of the Euro-zone with doubts over the economic health of Spain and Italy resulting significant gains in Spanish and Italian debt yields, while a drop in personal spending in the US overnight further fuelled fears the latest 'soft patch' may indeed by turning into something more sinister. This comes as recent GDP and manufacturing data points to further contraction in the US economy.
From here it's all about jobs with non-farm payrolls due for release on Friday which is expected to show the US economy created 100,000 jobs in the month of July. The usual conjecture surrounding Friday's job numbers should heat up tonight with the release of private jobs data from ADP and Challenger job cuts. The greenback has had a decent bounce against risk counterparts overnight - should we see this broad based negativity to continue we expect this theme of US dollar strength to remain in play. Other market moving data tonight includes the ISM-Services index and factory orders. Across the Atlantic, Euro-zone PMI services and retail sales data will no doubt be a key directive.