The Australian dollar remains under pressure

Quinn Rooney/Getty ImagesTin hats on. Stat.
  • The Australian dollar followed a familiar pattern on Monday, lifting in Asia before giving back ground later in the session.
  • The British pound was hammered as a vote on a Brexit deal in the UK House of Commons was delayed.
  • There’s plenty of second-tier data released on Tuesday both at home and abroad. Whether it will be enough to generate a reaction in financial markets is debatable.

The Australian dollar followed a familiar pattern on Monday against the greenback, lifting in Asian trade before giving back ground in the latter parts of the session.

However, it performed better against the crosses, especially the British pound.

Here’s the scoreboard at 8am in Sydney on Tuesday.

AUD/USD 0.7184 , -0.0015 , -0.21%
AUD/JPY 81.38 , 0.33 , 0.41%
AUD/CNH 4.9665 , 0.0173 , 0.35%
AUD/EUR 0.6326 , 0.0007 , 0.11%
AUD/GBP 0.5719 , 0.0071 , 1.26%
AUD/NZD 1.0448 , -0.0006 , -0.06%
AUD/CAD 0.9631 , 0.0033 , 0.34%

After opening the session at .7199, the AUD/USD rose to as high as .7227 in early European trade, helped by broad-based US dollar strength following an underwhelming US payrolls report on Friday.

However, the Aussie’s bounce came to a shuddering end as North American markets opened, dropping sharply on news that a vote in the UK House of Commons on a Brexit deal struck between UK Prime Minister Theresa and the European Union — originally scheduled for Tuesday — had been postponed until a later date.

“May has now admitted what everyone thought — that the bill was likely to be defeated by a significant margin, mainly due to MPs concerns about the Northern Irish backstop,” said David de Garis, an Economist at the National Australia Bank (NAB).

“She will meet EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday and hopes to extract some more concessions on the backstop.

“May did not set a date for when the new vote might take place. The market is concerned that the postponement uses up valuable time before the 29th March exit date, and the risk of a no-deal scenario is growing.”

The news weighed on the British pound, seeing it tumble to the lowest level since April 2017 against the greenback.

While the pound also fell sharply against the Aussie dollar, the lift in investor risk aversion was enough to see the AUD/USD fall to as low as .7180 before bouncing in late trade on the back of a recovery in US stocks.

As seen in the hourly chart below, the AUD/USD is finding support on dips below .7180 for the moment.

Investing.comAUD/USD Hourly Chart

The Aussie put in a more resilient performance against the major crosses, largely ignoring weakness in the offshore traded yuan — an oddity given the recent relationship between the two currencies recently — along with another sharp plunge in crude oil futures and the subsequent impact on LNG prices.

While the Aussie was largely immune to the slide in crude prices, the Canadian dollar was not, seeing the AUD/CAD lift over the session.

The Aussie also gained ground against the euro and Japanese yen, the former in part due to an ugly plunge in eurozone investor sentiment in December to four-year lows while the latter was helped by a recovery in US stocks after an early plunge.

Turning to the day ahead, it looks set to be another session dominated by sentiment and headlines despite a relatively busy economic calendar.

In Australia, the National Australia Bank will release its business confidence survey for November, a report that will be eyed closely given a recent deterioration in sentiment compared to levels seen earlier in the year.

“The business conditions index was +12 in October with confidence at +4,” said de Garis at the NAB.

Alongside that report at 11.30am AEDT, the ABS will also release its Q3 Residential Property Price Index, providing a dated view on what happened up to five months ago. It will attract little attention from markets.

The latest ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian consumer confidence report will also be released ahead of the Westpac-MI monthly measure for December on Wednesday.

Regionally, New Zealand electronic retail sales data for November will also hit at 8.45am AEDT.

Later in the session, other highlights include German investor sentiment, UK unemployment and wage data along with producer price inflation and NFIB small business optimism from the United States.

Given increased sensitivity to downside economic data misses of late, the two US reports could generate some short-term volatility despite being second-tier in nature. The PPI will also be eyed closely ahead of the US CPI report on Wednesday.

Given a lack of first-tier economic data in Asia, as ever, the performance of Chinese financial markets could well be prove to be influential on broader investor sentiment in the first half of the session.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.