:: Australian Dollar: The Australian Dollar opens higher today at 0.9160 and received a boost on Thursday from better than expected local jobs data. The currency rallied half a U.S. cent in very quick fashion after the jobless rate fell to 5.7 per cent in November, beating most economists forecasts, and raising the prospects of further interest rate rises. The economy added 31,200 positions with the vast majority being full-time. The Aussie gave back some of these gains throughout late Asian trade and opened in Europe around 0.9120 before eventually hitting an overnight high of 0.9177. The momentum was halted after the overnight release of stronger-than-expected U.S. unemployment claims and trade data which was greenback supportive.

- We expect a range today in the AUD/USD rate of 0.9120 to 0.9195

:: Great Britain Pound: Pound Sterling opens little-changed against the U.S. Dollar at 1.6266. Sterling hit a session-high of 1.6346 but its near-term vulnerability was exposed after better-than-expected U.S. unemployment claims and a 7.6 per cent narrowing of the U.S. trade gap for October strengthened the greenback. The pound hit a 24-hour low of 1.6213. As expected, the Bank of England kept its main interest rate at a record low of 0.5 per cent and also left its asset-purchase program unchanged at 200 million pounds. Meanwhile, the pound is lower against both the Australian Dollar (1.7720) and the New Zealand Dollar (2.2330).

- We expect a range today in the GBP/AUD rate of 1.7700 to 1.7820

:: New Zealand Dollar: The New Zealand Dollar opens higher on Friday at 0.7280, hanging onto the gains made after the Official Cash Rate was left on hold at 2.5 per cent yesterday. Pushing the currency higher were comments by Reserve Bank of New Zealand Governor Alan Bollard who has moved away from suggesting that rates are on hold until the second half of 2010 and instead said if the economy continues to recover, conditions may support beginning to remove monetary stimulus around the middle of 2010. During the offshore session the kiwi moved between a low in Europe of 0.7225 up to a high in New York of 0.7318.

- We expect a range today in the NZD/USD rate of 0.7235 to 0.7320

:: Majors: The big dollar has moved higher against the Japanese Yen (88.20) and is little-changed against the Euro (1.4716) after better-than-expected U.S. economic data was released overnight. U.S. unemployment claims fell to 5.16 million in the week ending November 27 which is the lowest level since February, encouraging demand for high-yielding assets. Also aiding risk appetite overnight was an unexpected 7.6 per cent narrowing of the trade deficit in October to $32.9 billion as the weaker greenback pushed exports higher for a sixth consecutive month. In overnight trade, the dollar has traded between a low of 87.72 against the Yen up to a high of 88.44. The Euro 24-hour trading range was fairly subdued by recent standards (1.4682 - 1.4759).

:: Data Releases:

  • AUD: No data today
  • CAD: Housing price index, Oct
  • EUR: No data today
  • GBP: No data today
  • JPY: Consumer confidence, Nov
  • NZD: REINZ House prices; Food prices, Nov
  • USD: Retail Sales, Nov; Uni of Michigan confidence survey, Dec; Business inventories, Housing price index, Oct.