FX Commentary – 22nd March, 2012
Global growth concerns continued to resonate across markets overnight providing a solid platform for the safe haven currencies to continue their north-bound trajectory. Chinese growth concerns saw the Australian dollar take a leg-down in the ensuing period of yesterdays uninspiring Chinese PMI data and the momentum continued as the Euro region’s largest economy Germany posted disappointing PMI in both the manufacturing and service sectors. German manufacturing PMI fell to 48.1 in March from a previous 50.2 – against economists’ expectations of a rise to an index level 51.
The Aussie dollar took a hit after yesterday’s Chinese PMI data with price action falling through the 104 handle and remained on a downward course overnight to lows of 103.35. The latter half of U.S trade saw the local unit regain some composure, albeit remaining vulnerable below 104 US cents. The Japanese Yen wore the ultimate safe haven tag overnight with solid gains against both risk currencies and its safe haven counterpart the US dollar. The USDJPY pair has lost around 1 percent with price action retreating through ¥83 to lows of ¥82.32. At the time of writing the US dollar is buying ¥82.5.
A small concession was a solid weekly jobless claims report from the U.S which showed the number of citizen filing for unemployment benefits fell to a 4-year low. U.S equity markets closed lower with the DOW and S&P falling 0.60 and 0.72 percent respectively.
Despite losses against the Yen, the US dollar maintained its winning streak against major counterparts with the CAD and Aussie the biggest losers. In the absence of any scheduled releases locally, we expect the Aussie dollar to remain under pressure throughout the domestic trade should regional equity markets follow on from the less than inspiring off shore trade. At the time of writing the Australian dollar is buying 103.9 US cents.