The antipodeans and the Canadian dollar are posting firm gains against the U.S. dollar. Gold has also spiked higher, although copper prices peaked before the open and are now down almost $2 from their highs. Some have suggested the gains in gold are tied to the reduction in the Italian tax on gold (to 1% from 6%).

There is also speculation that commodity currencies are higher after China's SAFE anounced plans to ease constraints on overseas investments; this would lead to demand for commodity currencies. The moves are certainly speculative, since the rules have not been implemented yet. Additionally, if Chinese investors are expected to invest in commodity countries, one would have expected a similar spike in the South African rand.

The dollar is trading near its lows for the day vs. the rand, but it has not spiked lower. The moves are more likely being driven by shorter-term traders jumping in to take advantage of what appears to be a corrective rally (against both the dollar and the yen) as tensions surrounding the earnings season ease up. Today's data aren't likely to alter that trend.
Marc Chandler has been covering the global capital markets in one fashion or another for nearly 20 years, working at economic consulting firms and global investment banks. Currently, he is the chief foreign exchange strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman. Recently, Chandler was the chief currency strategist for HSBC Bank USA. He is a prolific writer and speaker and appears regularly on CNBC. In addition to being quoted in the financial press, Chandler is often a guest writer for the Financial Times. He also teaches at New York University, where he is an associate professor in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. While Chandler cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.