:: Australian Dollar: The Australian Dollar has ridden an overnight wave of improved risk sentiment to open on Thursday at a two-week high of 0.7250. The currency commenced its move higher during local trade on Wednesday moving above 0.7100 in thin trading conditions due to a public holiday in Japan. Stronger equities in the United Kingdom and the United States along with firmer base metals combined to push the Aussie all the way up to 0.7289 during the New York trading session. The Aussie is sharply higher against the kiwi after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand cut interest rates by 50 basis points to 2.50 per cent.

- We expect a range today in the AUD/USD rate of 0.7180 to 0.7295

:: Great Britain Pound: Pound Sterling opens higher today against its US counterpart at 1.4767. The overnight range saw a low of 1.4608 and a high of 1.4813 as the currency was underpinned by a strong performance on equity markets. UK stocks advanced 2.3 per cent on the back of stronger banks and metal producers. There is no local economic data due for release tonight. However, the pound has been outperformed by its antipodean rivals and opens at 2.0350 (GBP/AUD) and 2.6050 against the New Zealand Dollar despite another interest rate cut in that country this morning.

- We expect a range today in the GBP/AUD rate of 2.0200 to 2.0450

:: New Zealand Dollar: It has been another wild ride for the New Zealand Dollar which opens today at 0.5650 against the US Dollar. The kiwi rallied up to 0.5775 yesterday after a solid increase in exports boosted the NZ trade surplus to NZ$324 million in March. However, the local unit has taken a US1-cent tumble this morning after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand cut the official cash rate by 50 basis points to 2.50 per cent. Interest rates have been the lowest in history since January this year. RBNZ Governor Mr Allan Bollard noted this morning that despite some tentative signs of stabilization . . . .a large amount still needs to be done and sentiment remains fragile.

- We expect a range today in the NZD/USD rate of 0.5575 to 0.5690

:: Majors: The big dollar opens weaker against the Euro (1.3267) and higher against the Japanese Yen (97.53) on Thursday after a mixed night of economic data. The greenback staged its biggest intraday rally against the Yen since March 31 as worse-than-expected GDP data was more than offset by an increase in consumer spending and a fall in inventories suggesting to currency market participants that there may be a glimmer of hope on the recovery front late in 2009. US gross domestic product decreased at an annual rate of 6.1 per cent in the first quarter, after shrinking 6.3 per cent in the last 3 months of 2008. Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve kept the federal funds rate target in the range of zero to 0.25 per cent for the third straight meeting and repeated its intention to keep rates low.

:: Data Releases:

  • AUD: Private Sector Credit, HIA New Home Sales, March
  • CAD: GDP, February
  • EUR: No Data Due Today
  • GBP: No Data Due Today
  • JPY: Industrial Production, March; BoJ target rate, April
  • NZD: RBNZ Official cash rate; Building Permits, March
  • USD: Personal income/PCE deflator, March