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GOP’s new stopgap bill eased concerns of a government shutdown in the U.S. and boosted the Greenback, while the Aussie was supported by a better-than-expected data release.

  • Australia’s Westpac consumer sentiment index improves by 1.8% vs. 3.6% previous
  • Australia’s home loans jumps by 2.1% vs. 0.1% decline expected, -0.6% reading in October
  • Japan’s core machinery orders up by 5.7% vs. 1.3% decline expected, 5.0% previous
  • New Zealand’s ANZ commodity prices down by 2.2% vs. 0.9% decrease in November
  • Bitcoin dipped below $10,000 in some exchanges before finding support

Major Events/Reports:

GOP kicks the can down the road

A few hours earlier House GOP leaders shared a new spending plan that would fund the government through President’s Day. If you recall, existing money for federal agencies were estimated to run out on Friday.

The bill is expected to extend government funding through February 16 and reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years. However, its current provisions don’t include protection for so-called “Dreamers” from being deported.

If approved, this would mark the fourth time in four months that Congress has voted on a short-term bill to keep the government open.

For now, the update is good enough for dollar bulls who pounced on the news that there will be no government shutdown, at least not this week.

Australia’s home loans data

Home loans from the Land Down Under snapped its back-to-back monthly declines by printing a 2.1% increase for the month of November. That’s way better than the 0.2% decline that analysts had estimated, yo!

A closer look tells us that the value of loans shot up by 2.3% thanks to a 2.7% increase in the value of owner occupied loans and a 1.5% increase in investment housing.

Today’s numbers were a relief for Aussie traders who were worried that higher interest rates are starting to take their toll on housing activity.

Mixed equities trading

The Asian bourses traded with mixed results after a weak session for their U.S. counterparts.

  • Nikkei slipped by 0.61% to 23,805.3;
  • Australia’s A SX 200 is up by 0.23% to 6,008.5;
  • Hang Seng is down by 0.57% to 31,724.0, while
  • Shanghai index is steady at 3,436.662.

Meanwhile, oil prices extended their decline that was seen in the previous sessions:

  • Brent crude oil is down by 0.45% to $69.00 while
  • U.S. WTI is down by 0.36% to $63.63.

Major Market Mover(s):

USD

The Greenback clobbered its major counterparts as traders as government shutdown concerns in the U.S. were relieved.

EUR/USD slipped from a high of 1.2324 to trade at 1.2268;
USD/JPY shot up from a session low of 110.19 to 110.63;
GBP/USD dipped from a high of 1.3837 to trade at 1.3790, and
USD/CHF inched higher from a low of .9572 to trade at .9616.

AUD

The Australian dollar blasted off in early Asian session trading after the home loans report printed much better than expected results.

AUD/USD shot up to .7999 before dollar strength dragged it back to .7965;
AUD/JPY rose to 88.36 before sliding back to 88.11, and
AUD/NZD gained 33 pips (+0.30%) to 1.0975.

Watch Out For:

  • 10:00 am GMT: Euro Zone’s final CPI (y/y) (1.4% expected, 1.5% previous)
  • 10:00 am GMT: Euro Zone’s final core CPI to remain at 0.9%?