The Australian dollar edged higher against its major counterparts on Monday morning in Asia despite a slide in most Asian stocks and a weaker-than-expected fourth quarter producer prices data from Australia.
Tracking cues from Wall Street where stocks declined sharply on Friday on concerns over the fallout of proposed stricter guidelines for banks,the Australian stock market is trading notably lower today.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which tumbled to 4,679.9 in early trades, is currently down 53.6 points or 1.1% at 4,697. The broader All Ordinaries index is trading at 4,723, down 48.9 points or 1% from its previous close. The All Ordinaries index had drifted down to around 4,703 in early trades.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan and South Korea are trading notably lower. Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore are also exhibiting weakness.
In economic news, producer prices in Australia was weaker than expected in the fourth quarter of 2009, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said today, coming in at -0.4 percent compared to the previous quarter. That compared to analyst expectations for a 0.2 percent increase following a 0.1 percent gain in the third quarter.
On an annual basis, producer prices fell 1.5 percent versus expectations for a 0.9 percent decline after the 0.2 percent increase in the previous three months.
The Australian dollar climbed to 0.9073 against the greenback by 9:15 pm ET, compared to 0.9011 hit late New York Friday. On the upside, the aussie may find resistance near the 0.91 level. Currently, the aussie-buck pair is quoted at 0.9065.
Against the Japanese yen, the Australian currency rose to 81.86 at this time and this may be compared to last week’s close of 80.98. If the aussie-yen pair gains further, resistance is likely to be seen at 82.0. The pair is presently trading at 81.73.
The Australian dollar that closed last week’s deals at 1.2691 against the New Zealand dollar edged slightly lower to 1.2660 around 7:30 pm ET. The aussie-kiwi pair moved sideways thereafter and is presently quoted at 1.2670.
The Australian currency advanced to 1.5621 against the European currency by 9:25 pm ET, compared to 1.5695 hit late New York Friday. The euro-aussie pair is presently worth 1.5627 with 1.5590 seen as the next target level.
In the euro-area, Germany’s Gfk consumer confidence survey results for February will be released at 2:00 am ET Monday.
Turning to the U.S., the National Association of Realtors is scheduled to release its report on existing home sales for December at 10:00 AM ET. Existing home sales was at 6.54 million in the previous month.