:: Australian Dollar: The Australian Dollar opens a shade weaker today at 0.6468 but remains entrenched in its recent broad range between 0.6350 and 0.6550. The Aussie hit an overnight high of 0.6554 – a level which is proving a tough one to break. Despite further poor economic data out of the United States last night, this time in the form of a 12-year low in existing home sales, the Aussie was caught up in moves lower by the Euro and Yen. The local unit is faring somewhat better on the cross-rates and opens higher against the pound (0.4550), the Euro (0.5080) and the Japanese Yen (63.15).
- We expect a range today in the AUD/USD rate of 0.6420 to 0.6550
:: Great Britain Pound: Pound Sterling is trading sharply lower today at 1.4203 after fourth quarter Gross Domestic Product came in at minus 1.5 per cent, the lowest reading since 1980. Adding to the pound's woes were comments from Bank of England policy-maker David Blanchflower, who said the UK recession may intensify significantly and that interest rates may have further to fall from the current record low levels of 1 per cent. The pound is also lower against its antipodean rivals and opens today at 2.1900 versus the Australian Dollar and 2.7820 against the New Zealand Dollar.
- We expect a range today in the GBP/AUD rate of 2.1750 to 2.2000
:: New Zealand Dollar: The New Zealand Dollar opens lower this morning against its US counterpart and is currently trading at 0.5090. Over the last 24 hours, the kiwi has traded between a low of 0.5086 and a high of 0.5194. After a fortnight of range-trading, the local market will finally have something on which to focus, in the form of the National Bank business confidence survey due out today. The kiwi is faring slightly better on the cross-rates and opens higher against the Yen (49.74), the UK pound (0.3585) and the Euro (0.4000).
- We expect a range today in the NZD/USD rate of 0.5030 to 0.5150
:: Majors: The greenback has strengthened overnight despite deteriorating US existing home sales for January. Purchases fell to a 12-year low despite falling home prices making them more affordable, suggesting the housing slump is yet to reach its nadir. Traders however, were more concerned with the economic data releases in Europe and Japan and their respective currencies were sold accordingly. The Yen has fallen to a 3-month low (97.77) against the US Dollar after a government report showed Japan's trade deficit widened to the most in more than 20 years. Meanwhile, the Euro lost ground and is currently trading at 1.2717 after German exports slumped in the fourth quarter of 2008, causing Europe's largest economy to contract by 1.7 per cent, the most in 22 years.
:: Data Releases:
• AUD: CBA/HIA Housing Affordability, Q4; AWE, Nov; Capex, Q4
• CAD: Balance of Payments, Q4
• EUR: No data expected
• GBP: No data expected
• JPY: No data expected
• NZD: NBNZ Business Confidence
• USD: New Home Sales, Durable Goods Orders, Jan
:: Note: The above exchange rates are based on interbank rates. If you are considering a transfer then please login, register or call us for a live dealing rate.