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RBA Governor's comments caused investors to be cautious

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Foreign exchange and major currency update

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ softened against a number of peers following the release of mixed domestic data. Retail sales came in below forecast whilst the nation’s trade surplus narrowed more than expected in February. The currency was also weighed upon by comments by RBA Governor Glenn Stevens which caused investors to be cautious.

Pound Sterling

The Pound was trading higher against the Euro and US Dollar after it continued to find support from yesterday’s positive Construction PMI and house price data. House prices rose for a 25th consecutive month and the UK’s construction activity continued to be strong. The currency is likely to move higher if today’s services PMI comes in as forecast.

US Dollar

The US Dollar climbed to a two-month high against the Japanese Yen as economists raised their bets that data due today and tomorrow will come in strongly, supporting the case for the Federal Reserve to continue tapering its monetary easing programme.

The Euro

The Euro was softer against its major peers as investors remain jittery ahead of the European Central Bank’s policy meeting which is due to take place today, amid concerns over the threat of deflation in the Eurozone. On Wednesday, International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde urged the Central Bank to do more to combat low inflation in the region, warning that slow price growth could undermine the fragile global recovery.

New Zealand Dollar

The New Zealand Dollar was softer as investors grew jittery ahead of the ECB monthly policy statement. Demand for riskier assets eased as the markets wait to see whether the European Central Bank will introduce stimulus measures in an effort to stave off the threat of deflation in the Eurozone.

Canadian Dollar

The Canadian Dollar was little changed against its major peers as traders took a wait and see approach ahead of Friday’s important jobs data from both Canada and the USA.

South African Rand

The Rand weakened to its lowest level in a week against the US Dollar as risk sentiment fell ahead of the ECB policy meeting. The currency also remains under pressure from an ongoing strike in the platinum mining sector.

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