US Dollar strength dictated global currency markets overnight which saw the greenback propped up by speculation the Fed may lift the discount rate for the second time this year. We had mixed economic feedback from the States with the US Consumer Price Index remaining unchanged in February, against predictions of 1.0 percent growth. This represents an annual inflation rate of 2.1 percent.
Initial Jobless claims came in a fraction higher than consensus registering 557,000 new claims in the week ending March 13th, however still recording a declined from the previous weeks 562,000 claims. Continuing claims which show the number of people claiming ongoing employment benefits rose 12,000 to 4.579 million. The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey rose to a level of 18.9, from 17.6 in October. These positive production figures helped keep the greenback well supported for a period of time, however failing to maintain any real traction.
The discount rate hike speculation saw the Aussie fall to lows of 91.8 US cents but quickly regained composure to sit pretty above 92 US cents for the majority of the session. In the absence of local economic data we expect the Aussie to remain buoyant on the back the relative strength of equity markets, following on from a reasonably positive lead from the US.