The Australian and the New Zealand dollars strengthened against their major opponents on Monday morning in Asia as Asian stocks soared on strong manufacturing PMI data from China.
The stock markets in the Asia-Pacific region are mostly trading higher today despite the weak cues from Wall Street on Friday. Sentiment was supported by the China’s official purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing for October, which indicated that momentum in the Chinese economy remained strong.
However, investors are trading cautious ahead of the announcement by the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday of another round of quantitative easing, the outcome of the mid-term U.S. Congressional elections and an Australian interest-rate decision due on Tuesday.
The Australian stock market is trading higher with gains being posted by banks and resource stocks. In late morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 38.20 points or 0.82% to 4,699.80 and the broader All Ordinaries Index is advancing 36.10 points or 0.76% to 4,769.50.
New Zealand’s NZX 50 index is currently trading at 3,308.01 – up 3.42 points or 0.13%.
In economic news, an index measuring the average asking price for a home in Australia rose 0.1 percent in the third quarter of 2010 compared to the previous three months, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said today. That was in line with expectations for a flat reading following the 3.1 percent gain in the second quarter.
The Australian dollar climbed to a 6-day high of 0.9892 against the US dollar by 10:10 pm ET and the pair moved sideways thereafter. The next upside target for the aussie-greenback pair is seen around the 0.9940 level. The pair that closed Friday’s trading at 0.9806 is currently quoted at 0.9883.
The Australian dollar rose to a 5-day high of 1.4129 against the euro and 80.18 against the Japanese yen around 8:00 pm ET. Although, the aussie started reversing direction shortly, it was unable to sustain strength against both of them. Currently, the aussie is quoted at 1.4154 against the euro and 79.71 versus the yen, compared to last week’s closing values of 1.4206 and 78.93, respectively.
The Australian dollar advanced to a 4-day high of 1.0066 against the Canadian dollar on Monday morning in Asia and a move above the 1.0160 resistance could set its peak in more than six years. The aussie-loonie pair that finished Friday’s deals at 1.0028 is presently quoted at 1.0052.
The Australian dollar also reached as high as 1.2913 against the NZ dollar before leveling off around 10:15 pm ET. The aussie-kiwi pair that finished Friday’s deals at 1.2854 is presently quoted at 1.2896.
The New Zealand dollar gained ground against the US dollar on Monday morning in Asia and touched above the 0.7670 level around 10:40 pm ET for the first time since July 2008. The kiwi-greenback pair moved sideways thereafter and is currently quoted at 0.7667, up from 0.7632 hit late New York Friday.
The New Zealand dollar advanced to an 18-day high of 62.32 against the Japanese yen around 8:00 pm ET, compared to last week’s close of 61.44. The kiwi-yen pair is presently worth 61.82 with 62.80 seen as the next likely target level.
Against the euro, the New Zealand dollar moved mostly range-bound on Monday morning in Asia. The euro-kiwi pair traded in a range between 1.8290 and 1.8280 and the pair is presently quoted at 1.8253.