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Aussie Falls As Australia Unemployment Rate Rises Unexpectedly

The Australian dollar weakened against the other major currencies in the Asian session on Thursday, after data showed that the unemployment rate in Australia rose more-than-expected in February.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that the unemployment rate in Australia climbed to a seasonally adjusted 5.9 percent in February. That missed forecasts for 5.7 percent, which would have been unchanged from January.

The Australian economy lost 6,400 jobs last month to 11,998,800 versus expectations for the addition of 16,000 jobs following the gain of 13,700 in January.

In other economic news, the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that inflation expectations in Australia eased marginally in March. The expected inflation rate over the next twelve months dropped by 0.1 percentage points to 4.0 percent in March from 4.1 percent in February.

Wednesday, the Australian dollar had risen 1.84 percent against the U.S. dollar, 0.56 percent against the yen, 0.80 percent against the euro, 0.12 percent against the kiwi and 0.58 percent against the loonie.

In the Asian trading, the Australian dollar fell to 0.7677 against the U.S. dollar and 87.04 against the yen, from yesterday's closing quotes of 0.7709 and 87.40, respectively. If the aussie extends its downtrend, it is likely to find support around 0.74 against the greenback and 84.00 against the yen.

Against the euro and the Canadian dollar, the aussie slipped to 1.3968 and 1.0215 from yesterday's closing quotes of 1.3917 and 1.0253, respectively. The aussie may test support near 1.42 against the euro and 1.00 against the loonie.

Looking ahead, at 4:30 am ET, the Swiss National Bank's interest rate announcement is due. The central bank is expected to maintain the LIBOR rate at -0.75 percent.

Eurozone CPI data for February is due to be released at 6:00 am ET.

At 8:00 am ET, the Bank of England will announce its interest rate decision. Economists expect the bank to retain interest rates unchanged at 0.25 percent and asset purchase target at GBP 435 billion.

In the New York session, U.S. housing starts and building permits for February, U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended March 11 and U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's manufacturing index for March are slated for release.

by RTT Staff Writer

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