00:30 Australia RBA Meeting's Minutes February
The New Zealand dollar fell against its 16 major peers after reports that China has destroyed some milk powder imported from the South Pacific nation. The so-called kiwi dropped versus the U.S. dollar and yen after Beijing News reported China’s quarantine administration destroyed milk powder for three different brands, citing the government agency. Some milk powder imported from the Netherlands and Spain was also found to be unqualified, the report said. China replaced Australia as New Zealand’s biggest export market in December for the first time in data going back to 1981, based on the smallest nation’s statistics office. New Zealand’s shipments to China surged last year, led by milk powder, butter and cheese.
Australia’s dollar rose against 14 of 16 major currencies after the RBA said prices of many metals, coal and crude oil have benefited from the better global outlook, according to minutes of the Feb. 5 meeting released today. Prices of iron ore, Australia’s largest export, have increased but have “run well ahead of Chinese steel prices” and may not be sustained at high levels, central bank board members said. Policy makers reiterated that tame prices provide scope to ease further if needed. The bank has lowered its benchmark rate by 1.75 percentage points to 3 percent since November 2011 and this month cut forecasts for inflation and growth.
EUR/USD: during the Asian session, the pair traded in the range of $1.3335-65.
GBP/USD: during the Asian session, the pair traded in the range of $1.5460-80.
USD/JPY: during the Asian session, the pair traded in the range of Y93.55-95.
EU Almunia, Barnier, Rehn and Steinbrueck are due to speak in Brussels from 0715GMT. Spain sell 3-mos, 9-mos bills at 0930GMT, with EZ construction data, along with Germany ZEW, due at 1000GMT to provide the morning interest.
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