Global unrest was the trading theme overnight with a flight to safety on the minds of currency traders. Gold broke back through the 1400 USD an ounce mark for the first time since the start of January, Silver as per current trends outperformed Gold rising 4.5% to 31 years highs of 33.91 USD an ounce. The unrest coming as Gaddafi's hold on power in Libya is looking shakier by the day with Libyan security forces attacking anti-government protesters; this sparked further protest across the North African region. As expected crude prices traded on the panic with NYMEX crude trading up over 6 per cent to hit a 2 year peak at 91.50.
With Presidents day holiday in the United States currency trade was left to the impetus from Europe and the North African unrest. There was a whole bunch of PMI manufacturing data out in Europe at or around expectations which was really ignored by traders at the Yen and USD assumed their safety status gaining against almost all currencies. The Aussie and Pound surrendered about 25 pips each through the night, and the Euro was steady against the US dollar. Tonight's US open should ensure a truer picture of the reaction to the Libyan news overnight.
Local trade and news is the inverse of the northern hemisphere, with a no political turmoil and most importantly for currency traders no key economic news. With local equities expected to be quite subdued today we can expect to see traders sit on their hands in anticipation for further developments in North Africa and US market's reaction. At the time of writing this report the Aussie is trading at 1.008 US dollar mark, around the overnight session low.
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