Currency update: The AUD is just under USD 0.9000
Currency update: The AUD is just under USD 0.9000. The Chinese iron ore price rose 2.4% yesterday, LME copper also rose, by 0.5%, oil was lower but gold was up 1.6%. Currency markets were mostly range-bound overnight, one exception being the EUR. In terms of data yesterday in Australia, the Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer confidence index fell 0.7%. Housing finance was unchanged in January. Today the key release in Australia is the February labour force report. The market is expecting employment to have picked up modestly (~ 10,000 jobs) and for the unemployment rate to remain at 6%. In the majors, this week the focus has switched back to Asia, to China, bond defaults, talk of iron ore being used as loan collateral and of course the price of iron ore. Russian and Ukrainian stocks were down by 2.6% and 5.6% respectively overnight.
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