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Australian Dollar Declines Against Most Majors On Weak Asian Stocks

The Australian dollar showed weakness against most of its major counterparts on Friday morning in Asia as a decline in most Asia-pacific stocks reduced demand for higher-yielding currencies.

However, the aussie soared to a new record high against the euro mainly due to the across the board weakening of the latter as Greek worries deepen after Moody's slashed Greece's sovereign debt to A3 on Thursday.

The Australian stock market is trading lower today with investors indulging in some selling in a few blue chips from resources, healthcare and financial sectors amid a lack of positive cues. The overnight flat close on Wall Street and lower commodity prices appear to be weighing on sentiment to an extent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which declined to around 4,876, is currently trading at 4,888, down 19.4 points or 0.4% from its previous close. The broader All Ordinaries index is down 16.8 points or 0.3% at 4,920.

In economic news, Australia's export price index gained 3.8% quarter-on-quarter in the March quarter, data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed today. This is marginally lower than the 3.9% increase forecast by analysts and follows a 1.7% fall in the December quarter.

Import prices, meanwhile, edged up 0.3% in the March quarter, rebounding from the 4.3% fall in the preceding quarter. Economists were looking for a 1.4% decline.

On a year-over-year basis, export prices slumped 26.8% in the March quarter while import prices were down 12.9%.

The Australian dollar touched a fresh record high of 1.4288 against the European common currency by 10:00 pm ET Thursday. The euro-aussie pair moved sideways thereafter and is currently quoted at 1.4293. The pair was worth 1.4340 at Thursday's New York session close.

The euro has been under strong selling pressure after Moody's Investors Service cut Greece's sovereign debt to A3 on Thursday and said it was likely to reduce the rating further unless the deficit-burdened government was able to restore market confidence.

The Australian dollar slipped to a 3-day low of 1.3024 against the New Zealand dollar by 9:50 pm ET, compared to Thursday's North American session close of 1.3059. The next downside target for the aussie-kiwi pair is likely to be seen around the 1.2950 level. Currently, the pair is quoted at 1.3032.

The aussie also declined to 0.9239 against the US dollar and 86.35 against the Japanese yen before moving mostly sideways around 8:00 pm ET Thursday. The Australian dollar that closed yesterday's deals at 0.9276 against the greenback and 86.72 against the yen is presently worth 0.9260 and 86.53, respectively.

Looking ahead, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is scheduled to release the February index for all-industry activity at 12:30 am ET. Analysts are expecting a decline of 1.6 percent on month following the 3.8 percent expansion in January.

French consumer spending for March, German IFO survey results for April, Italian retail sales and the euro-zone industrial new orders-both for the month of February are expected in the upcoming European session.

The U.S. Durable goods orders and new home sales-both for the month of March have been slated for release in the New York session.

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