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Australian Building Consents plummet but Trade balance higher than expected

Written by Sam Coxhead on March 3rd, 2011.      0 comments

11:40 AM (AEST) The just released Building Consents number in Australia showed a dramatic 15.9% decline on the month. The headline number is a horrible read, but given the volatility of this number and the extreme weather for the duration of the period in Queensland and beyond, it is not totally surprising.

The Trade Balance was better than expected for the Feb month at +1.875 billion against an expectation of 1.53B.

On the balance the AUD softened just slightly as can be seen from the table below. The USD remains weak and this is bolstering the GBP and EUR. The Asian influenced currencies like the AUD and NZD are not performing quite so well as the high oil price due to the tension in the Middle East/Africa are more likely to damage Asian growth to a larger degree than Europe.

          Last 24 hours trade
  Current level Pre-AU Build no. Chge since AU Build. No.   Low  High
NZD/USD 0.7427 0.7434 -0.1%   0.7385 0.7445
AUD/USD 1.0155 1.0166 -0.1%   1.0086 1.0182
NZD/AUD 0.7315 0.7311 0.1%   0.7301 0.7342
AUD/NZD 1.3670 1.3678 -0.1%   1.3620 1.3696
NZD/GBP 0.4550 0.4553 -0.1%   0.4542 0.4564
NZD/EUR 0.5358 0.5360 0.0%   0.5348 0.5372
NZD/JPY 60.80 61.83 -1.7%   60.52 60.94
NZD/CAD 0.7228 0.7230 0.0%   0.7195 0.7249