Australian Dollar Soft on Poor Housing Data, Other Reports

The Australian dollar traded flat-to-lower today after the release of underwhelming macroeconomic reports in Australia. Economic data in China, Australia’s biggest trading partner, was neutral, having a limited impact on the currency.
The biggest negative impact perhaps had the building permits report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which showed a drop by 8.4% in December from the previous month on a seasonally adjusted basis, which followed the 9.8% decline in November (revised, 9.1% before the revision). That was a total surprise to economists as they were counting on an increase by 2.1%.
Other reports were bad as well. The Melbourne Institute Inflation Gauge fell 0.1% in January after rising 0.4% in December. The ANZ Job Advertisements dropped 1.7% in January, month-on-month, after falling 0.7% in December (revised negatively from a “no-change” reading).
The Caixin China Services PMI slipped a little from 53.9 in December to 53.6 in January. Still, the index was above the average forecast of 53.3 and remained safely above the neutral 50.0 level.
AUD/USD dropped from 0.7246 to 0.7226 as of 11:25 GMT today. EUR/AUD gained from 1.5799 to 1.5842. AUD/JPY was at 79.40, very close to its opening level of 79.35.

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