Thursday morning in Asia, the Australian dollar touched a fresh multi-year high against the euro and more than a year against the yen as traders’ appetite for risk became more robust following the release of Australia’s better-than-expected November retail sales and trade balance reports.
Retail sales in Australia were up a seasonally adjusted 1.4 percent in November compared to the previous month, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said today, coming in at A$20.08 billion. That was sharply higher than the 0.3 percent increase that analysts had been expecting following the 0.4 percent gain in October.
In a separate report, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Australia’s seasonally adjusted trade deficit stood at A$1.7 billion in November. That was better than analyst expectations for a A$1.8 billion shortfall following the revised A$2.08 billion deficit in October.
Exports were down A$291 million or 2 percent to A$19.032 billion, while imports were down A$670 million or 3 percent to A$20.733 billion.
Extending a 4-day winning streak, the Australian dollar touched 1.5585 against the common currency of Europe by 7:35 pm ET and this marked the highest point for the domestic unit since November 1, 2007.
The euro-aussie pair, which closed yesterday’s deals at 1.5665, is presently trading at 1.562 and breaching the 1.545 resistance could set the strongest level for the aussie in more than 9 years.
In the euro-area, trading may be influenced by the reports on the euro-zone retail sales for November and consumer confidence for December, which will be released in the upcoming European session.
Against the Japanese yen, the Australian dollar advanced to a fresh 15-month high of 85.57 around 7:35 pm ET and the pair edged slightly lower thereafter. In a longer-term, resistance could be seen around the 89.0 level for the Australian currency. The aussie-yen pair, which finished Wednesday’s North American trading higher at 84.94, is presently quoted at 85.30.
The Australian dollar that drifted lower to 1.2471 against the New Zealand dollar around 7:25 pm ET bounced back to a high of 1.2507 around 8:15 pm and the pair held steady thereafter. The aussie-kiwi pair that closed yesterday’s deals at 1.2478 is presently quoted at 1.2503.
Against the Canadian dollar, the Australian unit climbed to a 3-week high of 0.955 around 7:30 pm ET and the pair moved in a holding pattern thereafter. The aussie-loonie pair is presently worth 0.9538, compared to 0.9499 hit late New York Wednesday.
The Australian dollar advanced to near a 5-week high of 0.9268 against the greenback around 7:30 pm ET, up by more than 0.7 percent from yesterday’s close of 0.92. The aussie-buck pair is presently worth 0.924 with 0.93 seen as the next upside target level.
Looking forward to the North American session, the US Labor Department is due to release its customary weekly jobless claims report for the week ended January 2nd at 8:30 AM ET.