The price of crude oil continued to be the major market moving theme overnight amid seemingly never-ending turmoil in Northern Africa. With the price of crude oil up over US$100 a barrel and climbing - further north-bound movements have the propensity to put a real dent in the global growth outlook which is keeping markets subdued. Nevertheless, US stocks were able to regain some composure after Monday's risk fuelled sell off, by default helping risk currencies gain the upper hand against the greenback. There are a lot of deep-seeded US dollar shorts in the market, and it's going to take a reasonable shock to shift price action to the upside - although if there's a perfect catalyst, this Friday's non-farm payrolls may do the trick. From a macro perspective, private sector payrolls released overnight by ADP were in focus which provided a positive glimpse ahead of the main event on Friday. Private payrolls in January surpassed expectations to record jobs growth of 217,000 in February against estimates of 185,000. Although seen as a pre-cursor to Friday's non-farm data, it failed to provide greenback price action any sustenance.
After yesterdays post GDP slide, the Aussie dollar has followed US equities higher overnight bouncing back from lows of 100.85 US cents. To recap the events of yesterday, local 4Q GDP grew 0.7 percent a tad below upwardly revised predictions of 0.8 percent growth. The ensuing minutes saw the local take a mild retreat, but later made larger descent in-line with kiwi price action which fell under the weight of interest rate discounting on comments by the NZ prime minster. Locally, the day ahead brings economic feedback on building approvals and trade balance data at 11.30 with Chinese PMI services data due at Midday. At the time of writing the local unit is buying 101.65 US cents and we expect any upside in domestic trade to be meet with resistance of 102 US cents - with little in the way of top tier economic data locally for the rest of the week, we expect an attempt to make a convincing break of 102 US cents will come from risk trends abroad.