AUD/USD extended gains early on Friday to reach a high of $0.7282, driven by risk appetite as markets in Asia were up following Wall Street’s gains late on Thursday. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.9 per cent, led by resources stocks after iron ore gained about 5 per cent on Thursday.
Driving markets higher were the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting , which backed the view that a US interest rate rise this year is unlikely.
Hong Kong’s the Hang Seng was up 1.7 per cent, while on the mainland China’s Shanghai Composite edged up 0.4 per cent and the Shenzhen Composite added 0.3 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.7 per cent.
The latest FOMC minutes clearly signal that overseas factors are an increasingly important driver of monetary policy, mirroring the press conference from Fed chair Janet Yellen.
As a result, the hurdle for a rate hike before year-end has increased, particularly after September’s employment report.
USD/JPY was steady between 119.83-120.00 despite a soggy USD elsewhere. Most JPY pairs were quiet ahead of another long, Tokyo weekend, holiday Monday.
EUR/JPY was choppy but range-bound, between 135.07-37. GBP/JPY traded between 183.87-184.35, bias up. • AUD/JPY traded 86.83 to 87.33.
EUR/USD was choppy but steady between 1.1268-92.
EUR/GBP was soggy, 0.7336-55, holding just above 0.7333 Wednesday low.
GBP/USD was bid from 1.5347 to 1.5375, supported by a hawkish BoE Gov Carney