During Asian deals on Thursday, the Singapore dollar climbed to a 3-day high against its US and Hong Kong counterparts as a rally in global stocks helped revive risk appetite, boosting demand for emerging-market assets. Meanwhile, the Singapore currency reversed its early Asian session's downtrend against the British pound and the euro and thus recovered from a 1-week low versus the pound.
The major markets across the Asia-Pacific region are trading higher today morning, tracking the U.S. markets, where all the indices advanced for the second day in succession on unexpected positive economic data.
A smaller-than-expected decline in construction spending for February, an increase in the index of pending home sales for February and higher-than-expected manufacturing sector index of the ISM for March, more than offset the bigger-than-expected decline in non-farm private employment for March.
The positive economic reports encouraged traders by suggesting that the worst of the economic conditions may be behind us. The data also strengthened expectations that the government initiatives are starting to bear fruit.
Singapore's Strait Times Index is currently moving up 3.05% or 51.95 points to 1,754.
In economic news, Singapore will provide March PMI numbers, with analysts expecting an index score of 45.6 - up from 45 in February. The electronics PMI is expected to come in at 44.2, up from 43.8 a month earlier.
The Singapore dollar advanced to a 3-day high of 1.5140 against the US dollar at 12:40 am ET Thursday. This may be compared to Wednesday's New York session closing value of 1.5189. The next upside target level for the Singapore currency is seen around 1.5055.
The Singapore dollar that declined to a 1-week low of 2.2028 against the British pound during early Asian deals on Thursday strengthened thereafter. The Singapore currency is currently trading at 2.1951 against the pound with 2.15 seen as the next target level. The pair closed Wednesday's North American session at 2.1974.
The Singapore dollar gained ground after hitting a low of 2.0174 against the European currency at 9:55 pm ET. The Singapore currency is currently trading at 2.0105 versus the euro, compared to 2.0124 hit late New York Wednesday. On the upside, 1.99 is seen as the next target level for the Singapore dollar.
Today, the governing council of the European Central Bank is expected to cut its overnight rate by 50 bps to 1 percent, a new historical low. The decision to cut rates is widely expected and all eyes will be on the ECB press conference hosted by Jean-Claude Trichet in Frankfurt.
Before the ECB rate announcement, traders are likely to focus on the French producer price index for February, British nationwide house price and construction PMI reports in the upcoming European session.
The Singapore dollar traded higher against its Hong Kong counterpart during early deals on Thursday. At 12:40 am ET, the pair reached a 3-day high of 5.1161, compared to Wednesday's closing value of 5.1026. If the pair gains further, 5.145 is seen as the next target level.
Hong Kong will announce retail sales data for February. Analysts are expecting the value of sales to decline 2 percent on year following the 7.4 percent annual jump in January. By volume, sales are expected to ease 3 percent on year after the 5.4 percent annual jump in the previous month.
Market participants also keenly await the outcome of the G-20 meeting and the market will be closely watching to see what measures they will discuss to fight the global economic crisis.
Across the Atlantic, the Labor Department is due to release its customary jobless claims report for the week ended March 27th at 8:30 am ET.
The Commerce Department is due to release its report on factory goods orders for February at 10 am ET. Orders for manufactured goods are likely to have decreased 0.3% in the month.
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