Wednesday in Asia, the Australian and New Zealand dollars rose against their major counterparts as demand for higher-yielding currencies increased on the back of rise in Asian stocks. The aussie surged up to a fresh 29-year high against the greenback.
Asian stock markets rose, except Chinese stocks, with the overnight positive close on Wall Street prompting investors to indulge in some hectic buying.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 2.3 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 1.7 percent, Australia’s S&P 200 index advanced 1.4 percent and the All Ordinaries index was 1.3 percent higher, New Zealand’s NZX 50 index gained 0.4 percent, South Korea’s Kospi advanced 1 percent and Taiwan’s main index edged up 0.6 percent.
But Chinese stocks fell on concerns that the country’s central bank may further beef up liquidity management to cool inflation. China’s Shangai composite index is down about 0.2 percent thus far.
Encouraging reports on South Korea’s fourth quarter GDP and Japan’s industrial production for February released in the session also cheered investors.
Japan’s industrial production rose 0.4 percent in February, beating forecasts for a 0.1 percent monthly contraction following the 1.3 percent gain in January.
On an annual basis, industrial production climbed 2.8 percent -below expectations for a 4.0 percent climb following the 3.5 percent increase in the previous month.
South Korea’s gross domestic product climbed 6.2 percent year-over-year in 2010, upwardly revised from the 6.1 percent increase estimated initially. This was the highest rate of growth since the 7.2 percent in 2002.
In economic news from Australia, job vacancies dropped 1.7 percent quarter-on-quarter during the three-months to February, Australian Bureau of Statistics said.
During the previous quarter, vacancies grew 6.6 percent over the previous three months. However, compared to last year, the number of vacancies climbed 12.3 percent.
The Australian dollar jumped to 1.0335 against the U.S. dollar in Asian trading. This set the highest level for the Aussie since it was freely-floated in 1983. Presently, the pair is quoted at 1.0327, compared to 1.0293 hit late New York Tuesday.
The aussie climbed to near a 4-week high of 1.3634 against the euro during Asian deals. Presently, the aussie is trading at 1.3639 against the euro with 1.35 seen as the next upside target level. At Tuesday’s close, the pair was quoted at 1.3718.
Against the yen, the aussie advanced to near an 11-month high of 85.73 in Asian session. As of now, the pair is quoted at 85.56, compared to yesterday’s close of 84.89. On the upside, 88.00 is seen as the next target level for the aussie.
The New Zealand dollar rose to more than a 1-month high of 0.7598 against the U.S. dollar in Asian deals. Presently, the kiwi is trading at 0.7594 against the greenback, compared to yesterday’s close of 0.7564. The next upside target level for the kiwi is seen at 0.765.
House building permits issued in New Zealand declined to its lowest in two years in February, reversing previous month’s gains, Statistics New Zealand said today.
After adjusting to seasonal variations, the number of of new houses authorized in February, excluding apartments, fell 7.8 percent month-on-month. This brings the level to the lowest point since February 2009.
The kiwi strengthened to a 4-week high of 1.8542 against the euro during Asian session. The kiwi is now quoted at 1.8568 versus the euro and if the kiwi gains further, it may target the 1.78 level. The pair closed yesterday’s trading at 1.8669.
Against its Japanese counterpart, the kiwi climbed to more than a 1-month high of 63.04 in Asian deals. The pair is now worth 62.94, compared to yesterday’s close of 62.39. The next upside target level for the kiwi is seen at 64.00.
Looking ahead, the Eurozone economic confidence and the Swiss KOF leading indicator – both for March are slated for release in the European session,.
The U.S. ADP employment report for March and Canada’s industrial product price for February are due in the New York session.