Data this week will probably show retail sales in the U.S. rose in November by the most in five months, while factory production in the U.K. grew in October for a second consecutive month. Elsewhere, the Chilean presidential election may determine whether the country’s companies boost spending, and Australia’s conservative government will probably issue its midyear fiscal review.
Australia’s dollar traded near the lowest level in eight weeks against the greenback as traders weighed the timing of a reduction in Federal Reserve stimulus that has buoyed asset prices around the world.
The yen weakened for the first time in five days against the dollar as speculation Japan’s government will cut corporate taxes spurred stock gains and damped demand for the relative safety of the currency.
Australia’s dollar rallied from the lowest in more than 19 months after data showed building approvals grew more than economists estimated, reducing the case for the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates.
New Zealand’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low, reducing the attractiveness of the nation’s assets as officials from Beijing to London move to contain inflation by raising borrowing costs.
New Zealand consumer purchases on debit, credit and store cards fell in December, adding to the case for central bank Governor Alan Bollard to delay raising interest rates until the middle of the year.