The Australian dollar remained under pressure overnight coinciding with weakness from commodity and equity markets. The local unit fell to near 1-month lows of 102.38 US cents but has now stabilized around current levels of 102.6 US cents. Metals and energy markets remained under considerable pressure which promoted natural weakness across commodity currencies with the greenback remaining the currency of least resistance.
After early support on the back of a stronger weekly jobs report, the trajectory turned south after a less than inspiring read on the health of U.S services sector. The ISM non-manufacturing PMI declined to an index level of 53.5 in April from a previous 56. Analyst predicted a more moderate decline to a reading of 55.3.
The number of U.S citizens applying for unemployment benefits fell to 365,000 for the week ending April 28 outpacing expectations of 379,000. Despite the positive jobless claims report, investors continue to err on the side of caution ahead of Friday's non-farm payrolls. We've seen a mixed set of indicator ahead of Friday's official data with Wednesday's ADP private sector employment gauge showed 119,000 jobs added in April falling short of the estimated 170,000. Given the mixed set of pre-cursers to the official report we saw a recalibration of expectations ahead of Friday's report which has attracted natural selling pressure and buying reluctance.
As anticipated the ECB kept benchmark interest rates on hold at 1.0 percent with the ensuing statement by President Mario Draghi providing little in the way of insight into the likelihood of further easing measures. The Euro came under pressure briefly cross through the 1.31-handle before finishing the session flat around 1.3150. The day ahead will see the focus turn to the RBA Statement of Monetary Policy at 11.30am AEST which is likely to see both inflation and growth estimates revised lower.