Overnight US Federal Reserve Governor Ben Bernanke testified to the House Financial Services Committee, reaffirming the Fed's pledge to keep interest rates on hold in the foreseeable future. Governor Bernanke also maintained the countries unemployment woes are likely to keep a lid on inflationary pressures. The overall tone was not groundbreaking, however investors found comfort, evident in strength of equity markets which have recovered from a recent string of loses. Economic data from the States saw New Home Sales fall well below estimates recording a contraction of 11.2 percent in the month of January against expected growth of 3.8 percent. The small concession was Decembers originally reported decline of 7.6 percent was given a positive revision of -3.9 percent.
Across the Atlantic, Europe's largest economy, Germany released fourth quarter Gross Domestic Product overnight which showed the economy remains stagnate for the second consecutive month to represent an annual contraction of 2.4 percent. Greece's economic woes continued to weigh on market sentiment with Euro/Dollar sliding from highs of US$1.3627 to current levels of US$1.3583. The Greece debacle also capped potential upside on the higher yielding currencies with the Aussie dollar remaining firm - however unable to find support above 89.5 US cents. At the time of writing the local unit is buying 89.3 US cents, leading into what shaping to be a positive day for Aussie equities, which should keep the Aussie dollar well bid in domestic trade. Economic data today includes Private New Capital Expenditure for the fourth quarter.