Australian dollar hits 29-year high
Singapore, April 25, 2011
The Australian dollar hit a fresh 29-year high and South Korea's benchmark index touched another record intraday high on Monday.
Commodities pushed higher with gold hitting a record high of$1,513.70 an ounce and US silver futures scaling a 31-year peak.
The dollar rose 0.3 per cent against a basket of currencies to 74.197 , but remained within sight of a trough of 73.735 struck last week, its lowest since August 2008.
The dollar climbed 0.5 per cent against the yen to 82.24 yen, supported by dollar-buying by Japanese importers and as traders took aim at stop-loss dollar buying orders said to be lurking near 82.50 yen.
'The market is thin today because London is closed today, and people are basically just trying to trigger stops,' said a trader at a Japanese bank.
In the stock market, South Korea's benchmark stock index clawed above a peak scaled last week and hit another record intraday high. The benchmark index was last up 0.7 per cent at 2213.57, having risen to as high as 2215.44 earlier.
Tokyo shares dipped 0.1 per cent, but gains in shippers helped temper its fall.
Japan's Nikkei business daily on the weekend reported that earnings sharply rebounded at three major marine transport companies in the year that ended on March 31.
Mitsui OSK Lines rose 1.6 per cent to 459 yen, Nippon Yusen gained 2.0 per cent to 306 yen and Kawasaki Kisen added 1.5 per cent to 280 yen.
'The shippers' gains are straightforward. The expectations for good results reflect strong demand in the global economy and they suffered relatively little damage from the March earthquake,' said Naoki Fujiwara, a fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management.
The Australian dollar, which tends to attract buying when the global economy is doing well and commodity prices rise, touched a 29-year high of $1.0777 . It later trimmed its gains to stand at $1.0712, down 0.2 per cent on the day.
US crude futures rose as violence in Syria and Yemen escalated over the weekend, stirring fears of supply disruptions from the Mena region.
Nymex crude for June delivery edged up 42 cents a barrel to $112.71.
Trading across asset markets may be lighter than usual on Monday, with markets in Australia and Hong Kong closed for a holiday. Markets in London will also be shut for a holiday. – Reuters