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The Australian dollar has jumped above 79 US cents with the US currency remaining weak after US inflation figures came in higher than expected.

At 0635 AEDT on Thursday, the Australian dollar was worth 79.10 US cents, up from 78.77 US cents on Wednesday.

Westpac’s Imre Speizer says the US CPI figures pushed US bonds up, but not the greenback.

‘US inflation data was stronger than expected, pushing US bond yields higher. The US dollar, though, remained weak,’ he said in a morning note.

‘The USD index is 0.6 per cent lower on the day, after a initially, but only briefly, rising in response to the CPI data.

‘AUD rose from 0.7860 to 0.7917 – via 0.7774 post-US CPI.’

The key event risk for the Australian currency on Thursday would be the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ labour force data, due out at 1130 AEDT.

‘February employment is expected by Westpac and the market to increase by 15,000 – a record 16th consecutive positive print.

‘That is also seen to leave the unemployment rate unchanged at 5.5 per cent with previous month’s employment growth being met with a rise in participation.’

He thought the local currency could lift further on Thursday, if the US dollar remains weak.

The Aussie dollar is also higher against the yen but has slipped slightly against the euro.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 79.10 US cents, from 78.77 on Wednesday

* 84.57 Japanese yen, from 84.42 yen

* 63.60 euro cents, from 63.64 euro cents

(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEDT previous local session)