The Aussie dollar has rebounded from yesterdays domestic lows overnight with price action once again making an attempt to break 102 US cents. The local unit rose to highs of 101.93 US cents overnight stopping short of longer term resistance levels between 101.9 and 102 US cents.
US stocks were able return from the losing week in good form posting healthy gains and this to a degree supported the local unit's buoyancy however also in focus is Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testimony congress which will commence on Tuesday. The general perception in the market is whilst Bernanke may acknowledge overall improvements in the economy it's not enough to sustain less accommodative policy settings in the near term; by default acting to subdue greenback price action.
In focus today will be RBA rates decision due for release at 14.30 - although no change is tipped for today's decision the finer points of the statement will no doubt be scrutinized, however we've recently had a healthy amount of comment from RBA officials which suggests market participants are well and truly informed of the RBA's outlook.
In a recent testimony to the House of Representatives economics committee RBA Governor Glenn Stevens provided an outlook of neutrality towards the near-term direction of interest rates, stating I'm fairly content with where we are at the moment. On inflation, Stevens has once again suggested that whilst the fallout of Queensland's floods and Cyclone Yasi would likely see a temporary rise in consumer prices to around 3 percent in the June quarter, this 'higher inflation, slower growth' scenario should begin to reverse in the second half of the year and should have largely dissipated by the end of 2011. In short, there's no imminent need for the RBA to tinker with rates and we're likely to see this sentiment translate to the post-decision statement once again.
Over to Europe and market participants focused on a release of consumer prices which declined 0.7 percent in January to reflect annual growth of 2.3 percent a whisker less than the 2.4 percent expected. The ensuing period saw Euro price action continue to forge new highs rising to 1.3856 and also outperform major counterparts such as the Aussie which has now made a convincing break to the downside of 74 Euro cents.
It's a particularly important week for Euro price action ahead of the European Central Bank meeting on Thursday - which is expected to see central bank officials provide further hawkish rhetoric in relation to the need to combat stubbornly high inflationary pressures with a tightening of monetary policy.
Nevertheless, given the speculative nature of the Euro's ascent one can't help but to take a 'glass half empty' approach to Euro's buoyancy. Its north-bound trajectory is almost entirely a result in interest rate speculation; hence the risk of reversal is strong. Money markets are now pricing in near 1.0 percent in rate hikes over the next 12 months and should we see an unwinding of these bet's the Euro will follow suit.