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Australian Dollar Falls After China Manufacturing, Services Growth Ease

The Australian dollar slipped against its major rivals in European deals on Monday, after data showed that the pace of growth in China's manufacturing and services sectors slowed in December.

Survey data compiled by the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing together with the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the official manufacturing PMI fell more-than-expected to 51.4 in December from 51.7 in November. The expected score was 51.5.

At the same time, the non-manufacturing PMI dropped to 54.5 in December from 54.7 a month ago. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

Trading was subdued as most Asian stock markets and major commodity markets remain closed on account of the New Year holiday. Traders await the minutes from the Federal Reserve's December meeting due on Wednesday and U.S. jobs data slated for release on Friday to gauge more clues about monetary policy outlook.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government on Sunday warned North Korea to refrain from testing its intercontinental ballistic missile and called on "all states" to show the North that its actions would have "consequences."

The Pentagon statement highlighted that "multiple UN Security Council resolutions explicitly prohibit North Korea's launches using ballistic missile technology."

The aussie held steady against its major rivals in the Asian session.

The aussie that ended last week's trading at 0.7200 against the greenback slipped to a 4-day low of 0.7166. On the downside, 0.70 is possibly seen as the next support level for the aussie-greenback pair.

The aussie fell to 0.9595 against the loonie, its lowest since June 27, 2016. If the aussie-loonie pair extends decline, it may find support around the 0.94 region.

The aussie dropped to 1.0347 against the kiwi, a level not seen since September 22, 2016. Continuation of the aussie's downtrend may see it challenging support around the 1.025 mark.

Pulling away from an early high of 84.40 against the yen, the aussie edged down to 84.09. The aussie is seen finding support around the 83.00 area.

The aussie weakened to 1.4638 against the euro and held steady thereafter. At last week's close, the pair was valued at 1.4593.

by RTT Staff Writer

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