The Australian dollar edged sharply higher against its major counterparts on Thursday morning in Asia following a government report showed that the nation’s unemployment rate fell in August.
The aussie touched an all-time high against the euro, fresh 4-month high versus the US dollar, 1-week high against the NZ dollar and a 3-day high against the yen.
Australia’s unemployment rate declined in August to a seasonally adjusted 5.1 percent, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said today. Most economists had forecast a decrease of 0.1 percent to 5.2 percent.
The figure was a decline of 0.2 percent from the 5.3 percent jobless rate of July.
The number of employed Australians increased by 30,900 in August, while the number of unemployed Australians decreased 22,500 to 607,700.
On the equity front, the Australian market is trading firm today with investors tracking the positive close on Wall Street and indulging in some hectic buying across the board.
Despite the Federal Reserve acknowledging that the U.S. economic recovery was slowing, stocks rallied on Wall Street, setting up a strong base for the Asian markets this morning.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index is up 51.8 points or 1.1% at 4,589. The broader All Ordinaries index is trading at 4,631, up 52.7 points or 1.2% over its previous close.
The Australian dollar touched a new record high of 1.3798 against the euro around 9:35 pm ET and the pair moved on hold thereafter. The euro-aussie pair that finished Wednesday’s North American deals at 1.3859 is presently quoted at 1.3820.
Against the US dollar, the Australian currency climbed to 0.9239 at this time and this set the highest level for the pair since May 04. The aussie-greenback pair is presently worth 0.9208 and the next upside target is likely to be seen around the 0.9280 level. The pair closed Wednesday’s North American deals at 0.9184.
Yesterday, Fed’s Beige Book stated that the U.S. economy continued its modest expansion, although it noted that a drop-off in the strength of economic data indicated a slower pace of recovery.
The Fed noted that modest economic growth was the most common characterization of overall conditions in the period from mid-July through the end of August.
The Australian dollar advanced to a 1-week high of 1.2792 against the NZ dollar around 10:15 pm ET and a move above the 1.2840 resistance could set its strongest mark in more than 4 months. The aussie-kiwi pair that was worth 1.2708 at Wednesday’s North American close is currently quoted at 1.2773.
Against the Japanese yen, the aussie rose to a 3-day high of 77.44 before reversing its direction around 9:35 pm ET. The aussie-yen pair is presently worth near Wednesday’s New York session closing quote of 77.04. If the Australian currency strengthens further, 77.80 is seen as the next likely target level.
Looking ahead, Japan is set to release its consumer confidence data for August at 1:00 am ET.
Final numbers of French non-farm payrolls and the German CPI-both for August and the European Central Bank’s monthly report are expected to influence markets in the upcoming European session.
Turning to the U.S, traders are keenly waiting for the weekly jobless claims data for the week ended September 04 and trade balance data for July in the North American session.