Australian Dollar: The Australian Dollar has firmed once again and opens on Thursday at 0.8340 against its US counterpart. During the local session yesterday the Aussie reacted positively to the release of better than expected economic growth numbers moving to an intraday high of 0.8317. June quarter gross domestic product came in at 0.6 per cent for the fastest rate of local growth in over 12 months and well above market forecasts. The annualised reading is also 0.6 per cent. Despite the Reserve Bank of Australia's recent comments that the present accommodative setting of monetary policy remains appropriate for the time being, this did not stop offshore currency markets taking the Aussie to an overnight high of 0.8373.

- We expect a range today in the AUD/USD rate of 0.8280 to 0.8380

Great Britain Pound: Pound Sterling opens on higher on Thursday at 1.6272 against the greenback after a fairly subdued session by recent standards as investors eyes were focussed on movements in the yen and the Euro. The Pound climbed steadily throughout most of the European time zone as UK equities ended the session flat and commodity prices firmed. Meanwhile, the pound is struggling to lift itself from the floor against its antipodean rivals and opens steady against the Australian Dollar at 1.9500 and weaker against the New Zealand Dollar at 2.4170.

- We expect a range today in the GBP/AUD rate of 1.9440 to 1.9620

New Zealand Dollar: The New Zealand Dollar opens lower on Thursday at 0.6725 after a fairly lack-lustre session compared to recent standards. Weaker-than-expected economic data released in the United States overnight had traders moving into the safe haven of the Japanese Yen at the expense of the greenback and consequently the Kiwi. In overnight trade, the Kiwi moved between a low of 0.6684 and a high of 0.6778. Strong GDP data across the Tasman has taken the wind out of the NZD/AUD cross-rate sails which opens lower today at 0.8050. There is no economic data scheduled for release today in New Zealand and local currency movements are likely to be sentiment-based.

- We expect a range today in the NZD/USD rate of 0.6660 to 0.6780

Majors: The Euro opens marginally higher today at 1.4260 after a range of economic data released on Wednesday reveals the recession may be easing. Household spending increased 0.2 per cent whilst exports fell 1.1 per cent in the second quarter compared to an 8.8 per cent drop the previous three months. Euro zone gross domestic product declined 0.1 per cent for an annualised reading of minus 4.7 per cent. In overnight trade the Euro moved between a low of 1.4188 and a high of 1.4293. The European Central Bank meets tonight and are expected to leave rates on hold at 1 per cent. Meanwhile, the flight to safety continues as the Japanese Yen advanced to a 7-week high against the greenback (92.18) in the lead-up to this Friday's US jobs data where the unemployment rate is tipped to increase to 9.5 per cent.

Data Releases:

  • AUD: International Trade Balance, July
  • CAD: No Data Today
  • EUR: Retail Sales, July; ECB rate decision
  • GBP: PMI Services, Aug
  • JPY: No Data Today
  • NZD: No Data Today
  • USD: ISM non-manufacturing, Aug

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