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Thin day of trade as North America closed for Labour Day

By Shameem Musa

The Australian dollar offered little through trade on Monday edging marginally lower as escalating geopolitical tensions drove investors to safe haven assets. North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test and intelligence that suggests it is preparing to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile have sparked a strong response from global leaders with Trump issuing fresh sanctions not just against North Korea but their trading partners. The move saw investors looked to the JPY and CHF in haven plays yet did little to seriously undermine AUD strength. Speculative long positions are now at their highest level in four years ahead of a key domestic backdrop. Attentions turn today to the RBA and a monetary policy update from which we anticipate little activity. The RBA is expected to maintain its current policy stance with a hike not priced in until at least Q2 2018. As such direction will derive from any commentary that accompanies the statement however recent rhetoric suggests Governor Lowe will continue to offer a neutral bias with little price action expected in response. We will watch ranges between 0.7880 and 0.8000 through trade today. 

The New Zealand dollar edged marginally higher through trade on Monday creeping back above 0.7150 but struggling to mount a consolidated extension through resistance at 0.7180/90. With local trade dominate by waning risk appetite in the wake of North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test the Kiwi struggled to make serious gains and appears placed to enter a lower trading band. With little of note on the domestic docket today geopolitical tensions will continue to drive direction ahead of tomorrow global dairy trade Index update.

The Great British Pound is weaker this morning when valued against the Greenback. The pound sterling fell to an overnight low of 1.2912 on the back of poor macroeconomic data. UK Construction PMI fell to 51.1 in August, its lowest in a year, down from previous 51.9 and below the 52.0 expected. Looking ahead today we will see the release of BRC Retail Sales and Services PMI. The GBP/USD pair is currently trading at 1.2931. We now expect support to hold on moves approaching 1.2890 while any upward push will likely meet resistance around 1.2960.

As the United States observed Labour Day and the financial markets remains closed in North America it was mostly a quiet day for the EUR/USD which moved very little touching a high of 1.1922 and a low of 1.1878. On the release front, Eurozone Sentix Investor Confidence rose from 27.7 in August to 28.2 in September. The outcome for September remains close to a decade high. Eurozone PPI continues to improve, coming in flat for July, after falling in June by 0.2%. The fall in June is now bigger than originally reported. In the year to July, producer prices growth eased from 2.4% in June to 2.0% in July. In other news the USD/JPY moved lower to 109.38 on geopolitical tensions following a successful test of a hydrogen bomb by North Korea on Sunday, the news has prompted the U.S to warn of military response posing any threat to them or their allies.