The Australian dollar slipped fractionally overnight, undermined by renewed US dollar strength as a result of higher US bond yields.
Here’s the scoreboard as at 8.45am AEDT.
- AUD/USD 0.7642 , 0.0002 , 0.03%
- AUD/JPY 85.47 , -0.03 , -0.04%
- AUD/CNH 5.2556 , -0.0029 , -0.06%
- AUD/EUR 0.7155 , -0.0001 , -0.01%
- AUD/GBP 0.6128 , 0.0002 , 0.03%
- AUD/NZD 1.0917 , -0.0002 , -0.02%
While the Aussie fell, it was not because of weakness but rather US dollar strength, assisted by the release of updated US Q4 GDP data which showed the economy grew at a faster pace than first thought in the final three months of 2016, led by strength in household consumption.
“The USD index is back above the 100 level supported by an upward revision to the US Q4 GDP reading, up to 2.1% from 1.9% with real consumer spending climbing to 3.5% from 3.0%,” said Rodrigo Catril, currency strategist at the National Australia Bank.
“The strength in the USD has largely come from its outperformance against the EUR and JPY while buoyant risk appetite and a solid to steady night for commodities have kept the AUD essentially unchanged from Sydney’s closing levels.”
The AUD/USD initially rose to as high as .7680 in European trade before giving back all those gains in North American trade.
After a quiet data calendar so far this week, there’s a few events for traders to eye on Friday with important economic releases scheduled both in Australia and abroad.
Domestically, the RBA will release updated private sector credit figures for February with most interest likely to fall on the investor housing credit component given increased chatter about the possible introduction of tighter macroprudential restrictions from Australia’s banking regulator, APRA.
The report will arrive at 11.30am AEDT.
Before that event arrives, markets will also receive a raft of Japanese economic data between 10.30am and 10.50am AEDT, including all-important inflation figures for February.
“Slowly but surely, price pressures are rising in Japan with the core reading — which excludes fresh food prices — expected to rise to 0.2% from 0.1%,” says Catril.
“Japan also prints its jobless rate and industrial production which is seen rising to 1.2% from 0.4%.”
Later in the session, China will also release its official manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMI reports for March at midday AEDT.
While China is the largest manufacturer in the world, and the largest source of global commodity demand, these reports have lost their potency over markets in recent years.
The manufacturing gauge is expected to tick up to 51.7 from 51.6, an outcome that would indicate a modest improvement in activity levels.
After that deluge, the next major events arrive in Europe with the release of Eurozone inflation figures for March, German unemployment and retail sales, along with the final reading of UK Q4 GDP.
In the US, personal consumption and income figures for February, including core PCE inflation which is the US Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure, will be released along with Chicago PMI and the final reading of the University of Michigan consumer confidence survey for March.
On the Fed speaking calendar, FOMC members Kashkari, Bullard, Dudley, Harker, Lacker and Tarullo will all speak during the session.
A big day ahead awaits.