Article Highlights

  • Australian trade balance weaker than expected at 0.73 billion AUD
  • RBA kept interest rates unchanged at 2.50%, maintains neutral stance
  • RBA Gov Stevens: AUD overvalued by historical standards
  • NZ Prime Minister Key: Government budget surplus expected for 2014
  • U.K. services PMI to show stronger expansion?
  • Spanish unemployment change, euro zone retail sales due
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As expected, the RBA decided to keep interest rates on hold at 2.50% during their monetary policy statement in today’s Asian trading session. AUD/USD spiked up to a high of .9317 during the event then settled back below the .9300 handle minutes later.

Although the Australian central bank maintained its neutral stance for now, RBA Governor Stevens reiterated that the Australian dollar remains high by historical standards and that it could have less of a positive impact on overall growth. The weaker than expected trade balance of 0.73 billion AUD versus the estimated 1.10 billion AUD and the previous 1.26 billion AUD surplus supported the RBA’s claim that Aussie appreciation dampens export demand.

Other dollar pairs crept higher in the past few hours, with EUR/USD moving to a high of 1.3886 and GBP/USD climbing 5 pips shy of the 1.6900 handle. Movement among yen pairs remained muted, as Japanese traders are still out for the banking holiday.

In the next few hours, volatility for euro and pound pairs could pick up as a few top-tier reports from the euro zone and the U.K. are lined up. From the euro zone, we’ve got the Spanish unemployment change report and euro zone retail sales, along with Spanish and Italian services PMI. The U.K. is also set to print its services PMI, which is expected to have ticked up from 57.6 to 57.9 in April.

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