For those long of Sterling would have been rubbing their hands with glee overnight, with the UK economy lifting out a recession with a 1-percent surge in third-quarter GDP. Despite risk trends favoring the greenback, sterling forged gains against major counterparts with investors encouraged by the Olympics-fueled strength from the economy. While it may not suggest broader economic headwinds will dissipate, it’s clear the recent macro picture has picked-up, implying less of a chance of further monetary easing from the Bank of England. Cable surged in the period to follow with a break of $US1.61 before leveling out around the 1.6140 levels. Residual support across the risk spectrum was also noted at the expense of the greenback which later managed to claw back gains alongside softer US equities.
True to form, the health of corporate America proved to be a stumbling block for US equities despite a round of encouraging economic reports. Durable goods orders surged 9.9 percent in September, from a previous fall of 13.5 percent. The closely watched weekly jobless claims also came in better than expected while pending home sales continued to show signs of improvement. Still, despite the stronger data pulse, there remains a number of themes in the way of a stronger, sustained leg higher. The so-called ‘fiscal cliff,’ referring to the expiration of the bush-era tax cuts in late 2012, is also taking on greater market relevance in conduction with automatic spending cuts in early 2013. Political uncertainty is also proving to be a stumbling block ahead of the presidential election.
Earlier in Europe, markets found solace in the completion of Portugal’s IMF review and remain hopeful Greece will soon reach an agreement over budget cuts needed to receive their next bailout tranche.
The Japanese Yen maintained its south-bound trajectory with the USDJPY pair making a convincing break the upside of Y80 level to 4-month highs of Y80.35. The Yen’s welcomed descent is in anticipation to next week’s Bank of Japan policy meeting were its expected the bank will unleash a new round of monetary easing.
Closer to home, after yesterday surge on the back of the RBNZ policy decision, the Kiwi took a hit after newly appointed RBNZ governor Graeme Wheeler said the bank has “scope to cut interest rates if needed.” After reaching highs of 82.43 US cents yesterday, the NZDUSD pair is stabilizing around the 81.85 US cent level.
The Aussie dollar rose to highs just shy of 104-figure before a lackluster performance from U.S equities began to weigh on risk trends. After falling to lows of 103.35 US cents, the local unit has consolidated higher around 103.6 US cents. Still, it’s been a positive week for the Aussie dollar with tentative signs China is stabilizing and paring back of interest rate cut expectations guiding a move higher. In the absence of scheduled data today, we anticipate regional equity performance to govern A$ dollar moves with further weakness likely to be contained at 103 US cents before the European handover.