The Australian dollar rose for a second day against the US dollar after data showed the Australian trade surplus increased beyond expectations. AUDUSD hit a five-month high of 1.0755 rising from the Asian session open of 1.0700. Aussie was boosted yesterday as well ater data showed manufacturing expanded in its major trading partner, China.
Euro held onto yesterday’s gains versus the dollar as risk appetite in Asian trading remained fairly positive. But demand for the euro is likely to ease while Greece still struggles to reach a deal with private creditors on writedowns on Greek debt. EURUSD opened in Asia at 1.3158 after easing down from a strong rally to 1.3216 yesterday.
GBPUSD was in consolidation mode after soaring to a two-and-a-half-month high of 1.5881 yesterday. The pair opened in Asia at 1.5829 and edged back up to 1.5857, supported by risk-on sentiment in Asian bourses.
USDJPY traded a very tight range between 76.09/19 after falling to a fresh post-October 31 Bank of Japan intervention low of 76.01 on Wednesday. Investors were nervous of an intervention after comments from the Japanese Finance Minister which helped limit further moves down.
The focus today turns to the US jobless claims data. Applications for unemployment benefits payments are predicted to fall to 371,000 in the week ended January 28 from 377,000 the previous week. Positive results will lift sentiment further and weaken the safe haven dollar ever more.