Australian dollar weaker

The Australian dollar was weaker at noon after disappointing US data on Friday night dampened sentiment for the unit.


At 1200 AEST, the Australian dollar was trading at $US0.8659/62, down from Friday’s close of $US0.8764/66.

Since 0700 AEST on Monday, the domestic dollar traded between $US0.8673 and $US0.8633.

Commonwealth Bank currency strategist Joseph Capurso said the unit was under sustained pressure since the release of poorer than expected US economic data on Friday night (AEST).

“It’s been a pretty boring morning, but it was a pretty exciting on Friday night,” Mr Capurso said.

“Particularly when the US data came out, the Aussie kept sliding and sliding.”

In the US on Friday night (AEST), stocks were under selling pressure from the opening bell as investors weighed a conflicting batch of financial results from major companies including Google, Bank of America, Citigroup and General Electric.

Investors also had to contend with the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index, which dropped by a steeper than forecast 9.5 points in July to 66.5 points, its lowest reading since August 2009.

Mr Capurso said investors would await the minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) July board meeting and a speech by its governor, Glenn Stevens, on Tuesday.

The RBA opted to leave the cash rate at 4.5 per cent in July, but the accompanying statement by Mr Stevens sparked forecasts from market economists of an August rate rise, although some have since backed down from that prediction.

Mr Stevens is also expected to speak to economists at an event organised by the Anika foundation on Tuesday afternoon, delivering a speech entitled, “Some Long Run Effects of the Financial Crisis.”

Mr Capurso said investors were expecting an upbeat speech from the RBA chief.

Meanwhile, the Australian debt market was firmer at noon.

At 1200 AEST on Monday, the yield on the Commonwealth GovernmentApril 2020 bond was 5.078 per cent, down from Friday’s close of5.122 per cent, while the May 2013 bond was at 4.501 per cent, downfrom 4.559 per cent previously.

On the Sydney Futures Exchange, the September 10-year bondfutures contract was at 94.895, up from Friday’s close of 94.875,while the September three-year bond futures contract was 95.390, upfrom the previous close of 95.350.