Aussie dollar weaker but good signs for the market
US financial market sentiment was mixed on Friday night. The US stockmarket strengthened, with the Dow rising 0.7% and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both up 0.4%.
This followed stockmarket gains in the European session and points to a positive open for the Australian stockmarket this morning.
US government bond yields fell on Friday night despite stockmarket gains.
The 10-year treasury yield fell 2 basis points to 1.87% and the 10-year treasury yield fell 3 basis points to 0.84%.
The slight steepening of the yield curve was attributed by some to Japanese demand at the short end, given record low yields in Japan.
The Japanese 10-year government bond yield fell 5 basis points to -0.09%.
The US dollar drifted higher over the session.
The Euro weakened after the European Central Bank's (ECB's) Executive Board member Praet said the deposit rate can be cut further, suggesting the ECB's easing bias remains intact.
EUR/USD fell from a high of 1.1337 on Friday, to trade at 1.1268 at the time of writing.
The Australian dollar weakened against the US dollar. AUD/USD reached a high of 0.7680 early on Friday afternoon, but fell from there, to currently trade around 0.7595.
The New Zealand dollar lost ground against the US dollar and the Aussie dollar. NZD/USD fell from a high of 0.6874 on Friday afternoon, to trade at 0.6788 at the time of writing.
Commodity prices fell on Friday night led by the oil price. US dollar strength and a higher US oil rig count weighed on the oil price.
There was no local economic data to report.
New home prices rose 3.6% in the year to February.
Prices rose in 32 of the 70 cities covered by the survey. This was up from 25 cities in January. Price rises were strongest in the 'tier one' cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen while prices have weakened in some of the smaller cities.
Consumer sentiment eased to a reading of 90.0 in March, from 91.7 in February, according to the University of Michigan measure.
This was a five-month low in consumer sentiment, with consumers becoming more concerned about the economic outlook, in addition to higher gasoline prices.