The Australian dollar lost ground on Wednesday morning in Asia after a government report showed that the nation’s economy expanded at a slower-pace than analysts had predicted.
Australia’s gross domestic product was up just 0.2 percent in the third quarter of 2010 compared to the previous three months, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said today. That was well below expectations for a 0.4 percent gain following the downwardly revised 1.1 increase in the second quarter.
On an annualized basis, the Australian economy expanded 2.7 percent – again missing forecasts for a 3.4 percent increase following the 3.3 percent gain in the second quarter.
On the equity front, the Australian stock market faltered amid listless trades following a weak close on Wall Street overnight and a disappointing GDP data. Concerns about debt worries in the eurozone also appear to be prompting a section of investors to stay on the sidelines.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which declined to 4,568.8, is currently down 11.4 points or 0.2% at 4,573. The broader All Ordinaries index is down 14.4 points or 0.3% at 4,662.
The aussie plummeted to 0.9539 against the US dollar by 8:35 pm ET and this set the lowest level for the pair since September 24. The aussie-buck pair that was worth 0.9589 at Tuesday’s North American session close is currently quoted at 0.9556. The next downside target for the Australian currency is seen around the 0.9460 level.
The Australian dollar reached a 1-month low of 79.78 against the Japanese yen around 9:10 pm ET, compared to 80.25 hit late New York Tuesday. On the downside, the aussie-yen pair may test support around the 79.30 level. Currently, the pair is trading at 80.0.
Against the New Zealand dollar, the Australian currency reached a 2-day low of 1.2872 by this time and this may be compared to Tuesday’s New York session closing value of 1.2917. The aussie-kiwi pair is presently worth 1.2893 with 1.2850 seen as the next likely support level.
The Australian dollar that tested yesterday’s fresh multi-year high of 1.3528 against the euro at the beginning of the session retreated to as low as 1.3613 around 8:35 pm ET and the pair leveled off thereafter. The euro-aussie pair that finished yesterday’s deals at 1.3548 is presently quoted at 1.3594.
Looking ahead, Japan is set to release its vehicle sales report for November at 12:00 am ET.
Reserve Bank of Australia’s commodity price index for November is slated for release at 1:30 am ET.
German retail sales for October and the manufacturing PMI data from major European economies are expected in the upcoming European session.
The U.S. ADP employment report for November, non-farm productivity and labor costs data for the third quarter, ISM manufacturing index for November, construction spending for October and Fed’s Beige book for December have been scheduled for release in the New York session.