The Australian dollar is still tracking around the 80 cent level this morning, consolidating upon the gains achieved on Tuesday.
Here’s the scoreboard as at 7am AEST.
AUD/USD 0.7999 , 0.0004 , 0.05%
AUD/JPY 87.33 , 0.34 , 0.39%
AUD/CNH 5.2316 , 0.004 , 0.08%
AUD/EUR 0.6711 , 0.0002 , 0.03%
AUD/GBP 0.6131 , -0.0002 , -0.03%
AUD/NZD 1.1110 , 0.0064 , 0.58%
AUD/CAD 0.9776 , -0.0111 , -1.12%
After falling to as low as .7960 following the release of Australia’s Q2 GDP report, the AUD/USD was given a boost by the Bank of Canada’s decision to lift interest rates for the second time in two months.
The decision arrived at midnight on Australia’s eastern seaboard, and clearly helped the Aussie to recover as seen in the 5-minute chart below.
“Market participants figure a rate hike by one central bank of a commodity exporter (BoC) raises the risk of a rate hike by the central bank of another commodity exporter (RBA),” said Joseph Capurso, senior currency strategist at the Commonwealth Bank.
It’s a very simplistic view, but it’s hard to argue that it didn’t drive the price action overnight.
The Aussie was also supported by news that Donald Trump had struck a deal to extend the US government’s debt ceiling for a further three months, helping to alleviate near-term concerns of a crippling shutdown that could hurt the US economy.
While that helped lift US bond yields and the US dollar, it also supported an improvement in investor risk appetite, pushing the Aussie back towards the 80 cent level as a consequence.
Turning to Thursday trade in Asia, there’s another flurry of economic data releases and events scheduled, both at home and abroad.
In Australia, markets will receive retail sales and international trade figures for July at 11.30am AEST.
Sales are tipped to increase by 0.2%, down from 0.3% in June, while the trade surplus is expected to swell to $900 million from $856 million in the prior month.
Outside of Australia, data highlights today include German industrial output, Eurozone revised Q2 GDP along with weekly jobless claims and crude inventory data from the United States.
In reality, they’ll all play second-fiddle to the European Central Bank’s September monetary policy meeting.
Will ECB president Mario Draghi layout the road map for a reduction in the bank’s quantitative easing program in the months ahead? The answer to that question will determine how broader currency markets will perform overnight.
“Given various media reports in the past week suggesting the ECB will not announce a change to its QE policy, if it does announce a change today, the EUR/USD could lift above 1.2070 and AUD/EUR could plummet to below 0.6568,” says Capurso.
The rates decision arrives at 9.45pm AEST with Mario Draghi’s press conference starting 45 minutes later.