SYDNEY (Reuters) - Commodity currencies slipped on Monday in the wake of disappointing Chinese data and were notable movers in a ‘risk off’ start to a week packed with crucial economic news.
An official survey on Sunday showed activity in China’s manufacturing sector unexpectedly contracted in October for a third month, fuelling fears the economy may still be losing momentum despite a raft of stimulus measures.
The Australian dollar slid as far as $0.7105 AUD=D4, from around $0.7138 late in New York on Friday, while its New Zealand peer dipped to $0.6732 NZD=D4, turning around from Friday’s peak near 68 U.S. cents.
In contrast, the dollar was little changed against the yen at 120.47 JPY=, while the euro was a tad firmer at 132.91 EURJPY=R. Against the dollar, the common currency was bid at $1.1036 EUR=, maintaining last week’s momentum when it bounced off a 2-1/2 month trough of $1.0896.
Following the early market move, traders will now wait for a private survey on China’s manufacturing activity due at 0145 GMT, before turning their attention to U.S. data and the all important payrolls report on Friday. ECONUS
“The China Caixin PMI will drive the AUD and NZD during the Asian session. However, this is likely to be overshadowed by the US ISM manufacturing survey tonight, which will set the tone for the USD, given markets are data watching ahead of the Fed decision in December,” analysts at ANZ wrote in a note to clients. ECONCN
The Fed held interest rates near zero last week, but signaled that a December rate rise remained firmly in play.
An interest rate decision by Australia’s central bank on Tuesday - one that analysts say is too close to call - will also be closely watched.
“Not so long ago the consensus view was that the RBA would remain on the sidelines for an extended period,” said Michael Blythe, chief economist at Commonwealth Bank.
“But a lift in mortgage rates and a low-side inflation reading reignited the rate cut debate.”
Analysts said whether the Reserve Bank of Australia cuts or not on Tuesday, the risk is that it may sound dovish in an unwelcome development for Aussie bulls.
Editing by Andrew Hay