Australian Dollar Gains on RBA Surprise, Trims Gains Later

The Australian dollar jumped today after the nation’s central bank surprised markets, keeping interest rates unchanged. The currency has trimmed its gains by now, though, losing them against the Japanese yen completely.
The Reserve Bank of Australia left its main interest rate unchanged at 1.5% during today’s monetary policy meeting. That surprised market participants who were counting on a cut to 1.25%. Yet the statement sounded rather dovish, suggesting that the central bank may yet perform a cut later.
As for macroeconomic data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that retail sales rose 0.3% in March from February, exceeding market expectations of a 0.2% increase. The trade balance surplus shrank from A$5.14 billion in February to A$4.95 billion in March but was above the consensus forecast of A$4.94 billion. The Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association Australian Performance of Construction Index fell to 42.6 in April from 45.6 in March.
The increasing trade tensions between the United States and China will continue to affect the Australian currency in the near future.
AUD/USD was up from 0.6993 to 0.7047 as of 21:04 GMT today before backing off to 0.7009. EUR/AUD declined from 1.6016 to 1.5954, touching the low of 1.5904. AUD/JPY retreated to 77.26 after opening at 77.41 and rising to the daily high of 78.04.

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