Currencies and commodities broke higher last night. The policy gap between the US central bank and others appeared to widen after comments from the BoE and the RBNZ, pressuring the US dollar lower. Continuing good US earning reports also helped risk sentiment, Yahoo and Morgan Stanley standing out. Of the 100 S&P500 companies to have reported, 81% beat consensus EPS estimates and 66% beat sales estimates. The index rose 0.7% at the open and hasn't moved since. The Fed's Beige Book business survey reported gains in economic activity outnumbering declines, but qualified the improvements as small or scattered. Oil (+3.5%) had a big day, partly on gasoline inventory declines, but mainly due to the US dollar, as did copper (+3.6%). Good Chinese industrial production data added to the bullish mix.
The US dollar index is testing trend support as we write, at 74.94. EUR finally cracked 1.50, rumours of central bank buying helping it to 1.5046. The BoE minutes surprised the market with its unanimous vote for no additional QE and shift to a more hawkish tone, and Governor King commented rates will return to more normal levels at some point. UK bond yields rose, as did the GBP, to 1.6635. USD/JPY ground slightly higher to 91.20.
AUD made a fresh 2009 high at 0.9329 after peeking under 0.9200 around London.
A reported extract from RBNZ Governor Bollard's appearance before Parliament's finance committee yesterday noted the high NZD was no impediment to raising the OCR, helping NZD outperform its cousin. NZD/USD made a 2009 high at 0.7635, and AUD/NZD fell to 1.2200.
US Fed beige book found "stabilization or modest improvements" in many sectors of the economy since
the last FOMC meeting in September.
Bank of England minutes reveal 9:0 vote at policy meeting, when rates were left on hold at 0.5% and the quantitative easing program left untouched. The discussion showed differences of view re the outlook but a unanimous decision to wait until the quarterly forecasting round in November before deciding on any further extension to the asset purchase (QE) program.
UK CBI industrial trends survey mixed. It showed monthly new orders slipping from -48 to -51 in Oct, but the quarterly business optimism survey rising from -16 in July to +10 in Oct.
AUD/USD and NZD/USD outlook today: The upward trend progressed last night, and tactical buying on dips to support levels remains the preferred strategy today. AUD now has support at 0.9280-0.9300, NZD at 0.7575.
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