The euro was little changed against the dollar in Asia as investors preferred to wait on the sidelines for developments in the euro-zone crisis ahead of a European Union summit next week. After Wednesday’s big jump following joint measures by major global central banks to provide liquidity to markets, euro held steady as the focus turns to the ECB meeting next Thursday and the EU summit on December 9th. EURUSD opened Asia at 1.3444 and traded a 1.3430-72 range.
The British pound opened in Asia at 1.5700 and consolidated Wednesday’s gains in a 1.5672-1.5717 range. Sterling dipped after weak PMI manufacturing data from China but the market quickly bounced back. Recently the market is euro-centric and cable is taking direction from EURUSD and is vulnerable to headline news from Europe.
The yen weakened against 14 of its 16 most-traded counterparts as surging Asian stock markets sapped demand for the safe haven Japanese currency. Nikkei up 2.4 percent on upbeat market sentiment. USDJPY opened Asia at 77.59 and closed up at 77.68.
The Australian dollar slid against the US dollar after some weak domestic data. Building approvals dropped and consumer spending was lower than expected. Also China PMI signalled a contraction in manufacturing for first time since February 2009. China is a major trading partner of Australia and so the aussie is affected by any Chinese data. AUDUSD opened Asia at 1.0276 and fell to 1.0184 on the weak data then bounced to 1.0262. The Australian dollar is still up roughly 5% this week against the US dollar.