Antipodean currencies such as the Australia and the New Zealand dollars strengthened against their major counterparts in the Asian session amid risk appetite, after a hawkish interest-rate hold by the Federal Reserve fueled hopes that the U.S. central bank is done with rate hikes.
The Fed acknowledged the U.S. economy’s surprising strength, but also nodded to the tighter financial conditions faced by businesses and households – alleviating the need for a further rate hike.
The dollar tracked Treasury yields lower, helping gold prices push higher. Oil rebounded from a one-month low on apprehensions the Middle East conflict may spread.
In economic news, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that Australia posted a merchandise trade surplus of A$6.786 billion in September. That was well shy of expectations for a surplus of A$9.50 billion following the A$9.64 billion surplus in August.
Exports were down 1.4 percent on month to A$45.623 billion after adding 4.0 percent in the previous month. Imports jumped 7.5 percent on month to A$38.836 billion after easing 0.4 percent a month earlier.
In the Asian trading now, the Australian dollar rose to nearly a 5-week high of 96.77 against the yen, from a recent low of 96.61. On the upside, 98.00 is seen as the next resistance level for the aussie.
Data from the Bank of Japan showed that the monetary base in Japan jumped 9.0 percent on year in October, coming in at 670.612 trillion yen. That exceeded expectations for an increase of 5.6 percent, which would have been unchanged from the September reading.
Against the U.S. dollar and the euro, the aussie advanced to more than 3-week highs of 0.6439 and 1.6456 from yesterday’s closing quotes of 0.6422 and 1.6484, respectively. If the aussie extends its uptrend, it is likely to find resistance around 0.65 against the greenback and 1.63 against the euro.
The aussie appreciated to more than a 3-month high of 0.8906 against the Canadian dollar, from yesterday’s closing value of 0.8884. The next possible upside target for the aussie is seen around the 0.90 region.
The aussie edged up to 1.0935 against the NZ dollar, from Wednesday’s closing value of 1.0924. The aussie may test resistance around the 1.10 region.
The NZ dollar rose to more than 2-week highs of 0.5897 against the U.S. dollar and 1.7971 against the euro, from yesterday’s closing quotes of 0.5879 and 1.8009, respectively. If the kiwi extends its uptrend, it is likely to find resistance around 0.60 against the greenback and 1.77 against the euro.
Against the yen, the kiwi edged up to 88.62 from a recent low of 88.44. The kiwi may test resistance around the 89.00 region.
Meanwhile, the safe-haven currency, the U.S. dollar fell against its major rivals, following the comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell after its two-day policy meeting suggesting that rate hikes were done.
The U.S. dollar fell to 2-day lows of 1.0602 against the euro and 1.2197 against the pound, from yesterday’s closing quotes of 1.0587 and 1.2181, respectively. If the greenback extends its downtrend, it is likely to find support around 1.07 against the euro and 1.23 against the pound.
Against the yen, the Swiss franc and the Canadian dollar, the greenback dropped to 2-day lows of 150.15, 0.9025 and 1.3824 from Wednesday’s closing quotes of 150.57, 0.9056 and 1.3836, respectively. The greenback may test support near 147.00 against the yen, 0.89 against the franc and 1.36 against the loonie.
Looking ahead, Switzerland inflation data for October, consumer confidence for the fourth quarter, German unemployment rate for October, German and the eurozone HCOB manufacturing PMI data for October, are slated for release in the European session.
In the New York session, U.S. weekly jobless claims and factory orders for September are set to be published.
At 8:00 am ET, the Bank of England is set to announce its monetary policy decision. Economists expect the Monetary Policy Committee to leave the benchmark lending rate at 5.25 percent.