Preliminary PMI data came in cooler than expected in Asia and Europe. European Manufacturing continues to suffer and remains in the doldrums, while US PMI numbers stabilised, but remain challenging. European Manufacturing and Composite all remained deeply in contraction mode (below 50). German consumer confidence was also heavily negative, reflecting the parlous state of the European economy, in these dark economic times of rising energy prices and inflation. The war in the Middle East and the Ukraine also adds to the economic uncertainties and recession. The US Dollar regained some ground, with the EUR falling back below 1.0600, while the GBP crashed to 1.2160.
Australian and Japanese flash PMI numbers were also struggling, adding further concern for global growth prospects. The rising reserve hit the NZD, which fell back to 0.5830, while the AUD drifted to 0.6330. Local markets will focus on the Australian inflation number, set to be released today, and is expected to see inflation fall sharply. If this does not eventuate, then there could be some action, in the local bond and currency markets.