Aussie dollar up against the Euro

Share Markets:

The US stockmarket strengthened on solid corporate earnings results. The Dow rose 0.1%, the S&P 500 gained 0.2% and the Nasdaq was up 0.7% to hit a record closing high.

Interest Rates: 

US bond yields fell as disappointing US business spending data caused investors to push out their expectations for a start to the Fed's rate hike cycle ahead of its meeting this week.

Concerns over Greece's debt negotiations also boosted demand for safe-haven government debt. However, stockmarket gains muted the decline in government bond yields.

Foreign Exchange:

The US dollar weakened against the major currencies as soft US business investment data pushed out expectations for a rate hike from the Fed.

The US dollar lost ground against the Euro despite ongoing concerns about Greece securing funding. The Aussie dollar lifted against the US dollar, trading around 0.7826 US dollars at the time of writing.

The Aussie was stronger versus the New Zealand dollar and the Euro, although it softened versus Sterling and the Yen.

Commodities:

Commodity prices were generally stronger on Friday.

The copper price gained further after last week's softer Chinese HSBC manufacturing data boosted hopes of further monetary stimulus from Chinese authorities.

The US West Texas Intermediate crude oil price, however, defied the trend, falling on concerns of rising inventories.

Australia:

There were not any significant economic data releases locally on Friday.

Europe:

German Ifo business confidence rose to a 10-month high of 108.6 in April, from 107.9 in March. The current conditions component lifted, while the expectations measure slipped.

United States:

US durable goods orders rose 4.0% in March, boosted by civilian aircraft and defence orders, although the details suggest business investment is lacklustre.

Durable goods excluding transportation fell 0.2% in March, compared to expectations for an increase, while February's durable goods were revised down to a 1.3% decline (previously reported as a 0.4% fall).

New home sales fell by a larger than expected 11.4% in March, although sales were likely impacted by poor weather in the first quarter.

February's growth in new home sales was revised down to 5.6%, from the previously reported 7.8%.

The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Activity Index fell to -7 in April, from -4 in March, defying consensus expectations for an improvement.


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