Australian Dollar Gains Notwithstanding Increasing European Geopolitical Tensions.


The sentiment-linked Australian Dollar managed to do better than he US Dollar on Tuesday despite rising geopolitical tensions. Conflicting reports crossed the wires around a possible Russian missile landing in Poland, which could either be by intention or inadvertent after potentially being shot down.

A senior US intelligence official, which told the AP news agency, said that the missile killed two people. This sparked concerns about an escalation in a conflict stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

As this transpired, the S&P 500 unwound gains accumulated from earlier in the Wall Street trading session because of softer-than-expected US PPI data. Wholesale inflation crossed the wires at 0.2% m/m in October versus 0.4% anticipated, unchanged from September. This data was another metric that underscored slowing price momentum in the wake of last week’s softer US inflation report.

The latter helped spur the strongest weekly rally in the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 since September 2020 as traders swiftly cut back expectations of a hawkish Federal Reserve in 2023. Unsurprisingly, traders reacted in a similar fashion to the PPI print. The US Dollar weakened, stocks rose and the risk-sensitive Australian Dollar rallied.

Regrettably, geopolitical tensions helped unwind some of this performance, but the Aussie still finished the session stronger, closing at its highest since the middle of September. Still, Russian concerns may leave financial markets in a precarious state during Wednesday’s Asia-Pacific trading session.

At the same time, the market reaction to the missiles could easily be reversed as new information continues to pour in. Poland has not issued a detailed statement on the explosion, but the country is reportedly considering invoking NATO Article 4. That allows members to bring issues of concern, especially relating to security, for discussion at the North Atlantic Council. The country also said that a Russian-made missile hit their border region near Ukraine.

The economic docket is fairly light outside of Australian wage price index data. For the Australian Dollar, a larger-than-expected outcome might offer support if it boosts hawkish Reserve Bank of Australia policy anticipation. But, a more robust interaction from AUD/USD might come from Thursday’s jobs report.

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