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US Dollar rises on inflation data

BY SHAMEEM MUSA

The Australian dollar edged lower through trade on Wednesday but managed to hold onto moves above 0.75 U.S cents. Renewed optimism surrounding U.S inflation expectations helped the world’s base currency reverse the downward trajectory of the past 5 sessions as investors considered the merits of Trump jawboning against increasing price pressures. The Aussie dollar having touched intraday highs at 0.7564 fell more than half a cent to 0.7510 throughout trade overnight. Attentions now turn to local employment data for direction throughout the domestic session with investors keeping one eye on Friday’s Presidential inauguration. U.S political fortunes and policy uncertainties have been the driving force behind the recent AUD rally and a primary directional indicator through the week and month ahead.

Having lead the gains amongst the commodity currencies the session prior the New Zealand Dollar came under selling pressure during offshore trade as upbeat U.S macroeconomic data forced a reversal of recent gains. The NZD/USD moved from session highs of 0.7215 to current levels of 0.7125, a drop of 1.2%. Attention now turns to local Business NZ Manufacturing Index and Building Permits due today.

The Great British Pound retracted from the previous session gains and is down 1% currently changing hands at 1.2255 against the Greenback. Despite U.K jobless claims falling for the month for December and wages increasing investors are digesting PM Theresa May’s Brexit plans and what that will mean for the future of the UK. It is almost certain that the UK Supreme Court will vote in favour of Article 50 which could see further gains in the GBP/USD, but as the reality of a hard Brexit returns as too will the sellers.

The U.S Dollar countered downward moves through trade on Wednesday moving marginally higher against a basket of major currency counterparts. Following five consecutive daily declines markets took stock of positions as rising U.S living costs and tightening labour market conditions bolstered or prompted heightened inflation expectations. Investors paused and considered the merits of Trumps recent jawboning against the possibility of renewed price pressures and a faster pace of monetary policy change. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rallied some 0.5% while the Yen suffered as investors moved away from haven assets. The Dollar moved back through 114 JPY to touch intraday highs at 114.3050 while the Euro fell back through 1.0650. With attentions turned to Fed Chair Janet Yellen this morning the Central Bank President affirmed the Fed’s commitment to a measured and gradual monetary policy amendment plan, suggesting the economy was showing signs of renewed health and growth shifting the focus back to Friday’s inauguration and the incoming Trump. A fresh spout of jawboning and failure to deliver a clear policy path will only foster heightened uncertainty and possibly spur a fresh bout of USD selling.