Australian Dollar:

The Australian dollar offered little for investors throughout trade on Friday failing to recover the losses suffered on the back of shrinking private capital expenditure and an improved U.S. core inflation read. Bouncing along within a 60 point range for much of the day investors appeared to be marking time in the lead up to key US data sets. Better than expected preliminary GDP and consumer sentiment reports forced the Aussie back toward the 0.78 cent handle closing the week in familiar territory. Attentions shift to the RBA and its second policy meeting for 2015. With the majority of analyst calling for stability there are some economists suggesting a 2nd consecutive rate cut is an inevitability. The unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, wage growth is at its lowest level in 17 years and employment growth has weakened. Throw into the mix a softening mining sector and an inflated dollar and there is certainly room for RBA action. With little on the domestic docket to drive direction through trade on Monday the AUD will likely find support in China’s decision (Saturday) to cut its benchmark rate in a bid to improve growth while markets look to Manufacturing reports for further direction throughout trade.     

We expect a range today of 0.7620 – 0.7920

 

New Zealand Dollar:

Much like its trans-Tasman counterpart the New Zealand dollar failed to recoup the losses suffered throughout trade on Thursday edging marginally higher Friday to close the week just above 0.7550. Taking its cues from offshore data sets the NZD held up well in the face of stronger than anticipated U.S. fourth quarter GDP growth and consumer sentiment. With little domestic data on hand Monday direction will stem from offshore stimuli headlined by a Chinese HSBC manufacturing report  with support derived from the Peoples Bank of China’s decision (Saturday) to cuts its benchmark rate in a bid to fuel growth.      

We expect a range today of 0.7450 – 0.7650

 

Great British Pound:

Sterling failed to recoup the losses suffered on Thursday offering little to spark investor’s imagination through trade on Friday. With little domestic data on hand the Pound took its cues from offshore stimuli edging lower into the close as better than anticipated U.S. fourth quarter GDP and consumer sentiment helped cement greenback gains. Attentions this week turn to a busy macroeconomic calendar headlined by the Bank of England’s policy announcement Thursday while the more immediate focus turns to Manufacturing PMI for direction through trade on Monday.    

We expect a range today of 1.9620 – 1.9950

 

Majors:

The US Dollar ended the week little changed Friday marking an eight straight monthly gain for the world’s base currency when measured against a basket of 6 major counterparts; as investors shrugged off a string of poor data sets throughout February on expectations the Fed will adjust its benchmark interest rate at some point this year. Preliminary fourth quarter GDP nudged above expectations writing in at 2.2% while consumer sentiment held near 8 year highs with investors’ expectations for consumer driven growth improving. Any advance was checked by a 13 point dip in Chicago PMI index and highlights an underlying vulnerability in the US manufacturing sector. It is however important to note that size of the depreciation hints at an anomaly with investors blaming poor weather, the closure of LA and Long Beach sea ports for delays in capital and a stronger dollar for decline in demand for US exports. Attentions this week turn to a raft of Central bank policy meetings with the Australian Reserve Bank, Canadian Central Bank, Bank of England and European Central Bank all due to release policy updates while Friday’s Non-Farm Payroll report will be crucial in providing direction and governing expectations leading into the Fed’s March 17-18 assembly.

 

Data releases

AUD: AIG Manufacturing Index, MI inflation Gauge, New Home Sales, Company Operating profits and Commodity Prices              

NZD: No Data

JPY: Final Manufacturing          

GBP: Nationwide HPI, Manufacturing PMI, Met Lending to Individuals, Mortgage Approvals and M4 Money Supply

EUR: CPI Flash Estimates, Core CPI Flash Estimates and Unemployment Rate

USD: Core PCE Price Index, Personal Spending, Personal Income, Final Manufacturing PMI and ISM Manufacturing PMI