:: Australian Dollar: The Australian Dollar opens lower against the greenback today at 0.8815 after mixed local trade data released yesterday. Australia's trade deficit increased in December to A$2.252bio pushing the local unit down to an intraday low of 0.8825. Exports were up 4 per cent whilst imports jumped 6 per cent. The currency eventually moved higher as the market concluded that an increase in capital goods indicated that Australian firms were preparing for a pick-up in economic activity. During offshore trade the Aussie declined steadily to an overnight low of 0.8813 after a report in the United States showed that companies cut fewer positions than anticipated, strengthening the greenback. Retail trade data for December is due for release this morning and will be closely watched by local financial markets.

- We expect a range today in the AUD/USD rate of 0.8790 to 0.8880

:: Great Britain Pound: The GBP starts this morning's trade lower at 1.5900 against the USD. Overnight the unit reached a high of 1.6070 as the UK consumer confidence index rose to 73 for January. The Service sector has also expanded as the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), though below expectations of 56.5, came in at 54.5. The gains were short-lived however and the Pound tumbled more than 1% in the wake of these announcements as the recent improvements in the state of the UK economy have lead some investors to believe the Central Bank will not extend it quantitative easing programme at today's meeting. Meanwhile the GBP is also slightly lower against the AUD this morning opening at 1.8000 and steady against the NZD at 2.2450.

- We expect a range today in the GBP/AUD rate of 1.7920 to 1.8060

:: New Zealand Dollar: The NZD opens weaker versus the Greenback today at 0.7075 in the lead up to this morning's unemployment data. At the start of offshore trading last night, the kiwi climbed up just over 0.7150 before falling steadily to an overnight low of 0.7066 in the wake of positive US data and a stronger greenback across the board. Keeping a lid on the kiwi is a report which suggests the nation's jobless rate may have increased to the highest level since 1999. Meanwhile the Kiwi opens lower against most of its major counterparts, including the AUD (0.8005) and the EUR (0.5080).

- We expect a range today in the NZD/USD rate of 0.7000 to 0.7110

:: Majors: The big dollar moved higher overnight against both the Japanese Yen (91.07) and the Euro (1.3890) after a report from ADP Employer Services showed that U.S. companies cut 22,000 jobs in January - far fewer than expected. Non-farm payrolls, due out this Friday, is always an important number and the prospect of an improvement in employment conditions was enough to send the greenback higher across the board. In overnight trade, the Euro fell from a high of 1.4025 down to 1.3889 in the lead-up to tonight's European Central Bank meeting where the main lending rate is expected to remain on hold at 1 per cent.

:: Data Releases:

  • AUD: Building Approvals & Retail Trade, Dec
  • CAD: Building Permits, Dec
  • EUR: ECB Interest Rate Decision
  • GBP: BoE Interest Rate Decision
  • JPY: No data today
  • NZD: Visitor Arrivals, Dec
  • USD: Factory Orders, Dec