Australian, New Zealand Dollars Sold as Asian Stocks Follow Wall St Lower
Key Overnight Developments
• UK House Prices to Erase Year-to-Date Gains, Says Rightmove
• Australian, New Zealand Dollars Sold as Asian Stocks Decline
The Euro slid 0.2 percent against the US Dollar in thin overnight trade, with investors jittery ahead of the release of results from a series of stress tests of European banks designed to gauge their ability to withstand a sovereign default in the region (due on Friday). The British Pound was little changed. We remain flat EURUSD and GBPUSD.
Asia Session Highlights
The Australian and New Zealand Dollars slumped against their US counterpart as stocks sold off in Asian trade, weighing on carry trades and boosting demand for the safety-linked greenback. The MSCI Asia Pacific regional benchmark equity index fell 1.2 percent, following last Friday’s drop on Wall Street after disappointing earnings from Bank of America, Citigroup, and General Electric as well as a sharp downturn in US consumer confidence.
UK House Prices fell 0.6 percent July – marking the first decline this year – according to a report from Rightmove Plc, an online listing of for-sale properties. The annualized growth rate slowed to 3.7 percent, the lowest in seven months. Rightmove Commercial Director Miles Shipside said “[real estate agents] are suffering from [swelling] portfolios, and buyers’ fitness to purchase is in correspondingly poor shape,” predicting a further 7 percent drop in the second half of 2010 that will erase gains accumulated from the beginning of the year.
Euro Session: What to Expect
The economic calendar is decidedly tame in European hours, leaving the door open for the dynamics noted overnight to carry through into US trade. US equity index futures are tracking slightly higher, up 0.1 percent to hint that the risk-linked Australian and New Zealand Dollars may find some support after coming under pressure to start the trading week. Meanwhile, stress tests remain in focus for the Euro while the British Pound looks ahead to Wednesday’s release of the minutes from July’s Bank of England policy meeting – the first one since the government announced an ambitious emergency budget that promised to slash the deficit by 6.3 percent of GDP by 2014-15 – as markets size up the central bank’s take on the ruling coalition’s plans and their implications for where interest rates go from here.
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