The greenbacks appeal continued to regain consciousness overnight amid signs the health of the US labor market is improving. We saw an improvement of US initial jobless claims which recorded 404,000 new claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending Jan. 15.
We also saw positive US housing data with existing home sales surging 12.3 percent in the month of December against expectations of 4.1 percent growth, representing an annual rate of 5.28 million.
The Philadelphia Fed survey which is a gauge of manufacturing in the region slight undershot estimates to record a level of 19.3 in January against a previous and expected 20.8. All things considered it appears the US dollar is cohering to a hybrid of drivers with both negative and positive influences for the market able to provide support. We have seen US equities able to regain some composure after Wednesday's sell-off, but market sentiment is far from risk-on - this in itself can provide support for the greenback.
US Dollar strength came at the expense of the Aussie dollar has continued to weaken overnight, however yesterdays data from China has also had a sustained affect on Aussie price action with the local unit fall to overnight lows of 98.31 US cents.
China's GDP grew at annual rate of 9.8 percent, surpassing economists' estimates of 9.4 per cent. The data also showed inflationary pressures moderated in September with the consumer price index recording annual growth of 4.6 percent from a previous 5.1 percent -in-line with estimates.
On balance the numbers proved to be solid with above or on-target readings for retail sales, industrial production and fix asset investment - however investors have appeared to interpret the latest data from China as a sign the Chinese authorities may do more to reign in inflationary pressures with the higher growth, lower inflation scenario doing little to appease investor concerns.
Locally, the day ahead brings economic feedback on Australia's import and export growth which to a small degree could exasperate weakness or provide support for the local unit but ultimately the key driver in the day ahead will likely be local and Asian equity markets. At the time of writing the Aussie dollar is buying 98.65 US cents.