Australian Dollar Extends Decline After Thursday’s Mixed Data

The Australian dollar extended decline today for the third consecutive session versus its US counterpart and for the fourth session against the euro and the Japanese yen. Economic data released in Australia on Thursday was mixed, while China’s manufacturing report was neutral.

The Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index decreased from 58.7 to 57.5 in February, signaling about further expansion but at a slightly slower pace. Private capital expenditure fell 0.2% in the December quarter from the previous three months instead of rising 1.0% as analysts had predicted. The index of commodity prices reported by the Reserve Bank of Australia fell by 1.0% in February from a year ago following the 1.1% drop in January.

The Caixin China General Manufacturing PMI edged up slightly from 51.5 in January to 51.6 in February, whereas experts had predicted a drop to 51.3. That means that the manufacturing sector of China, Australia’s biggest trading partner, continued to expand at steady pace.

AUD/USD declined from 0.7760 to 0.7730 as of 19:33 GMT today, and its daily low of 0.7714 was the lowest since December 26. EUR/AUD edged up from 1.5708 to 1.5790. AUD/JPY slumped to 82.27, retreating from the opening level of 82.77 and the daily high of 83.15, while the daily low of 82.13 was the weakest since June 7.

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