The Australian dollar extended its bounce today, gaining against most major currencies with the exception of the Swiss franc. While the rebound was not enough to erase this week’s losses, it gives the Aussie a chance to avoid ending the week as the weakest currency. As for Australia’s macroeconomic data, it was mixed today, with the housing market recovering but retail sales missing expectations.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that retail sales rose 0.4% in August from July on a seasonally adjusted basis. The actual increase was slightly below the average forecast of 0.5%. Still, it was better than zero growth registered in the prior month.
Housing Industry Association reported that the number of new home sales rose 7.3% in August, recovering from the previous month’s drop of 7.2%. The report noted that the housing market remains weaker compared with the last year:
Despite the monthly lift in August, sales figures are still weaker than they were a year ago.
Nevertheless, the report voiced optimism regarding the outlook for the future:
A recovery in sales of new homes is yet to fully materialise but some markets are showing signs that the worst of the downturn may be in the rear-view mirror.
AUD/USD gained from 0.6740 to 0.6761 as of 10:14 GMT today. EUR/AUD slipped from 1.6260 to 1.6246. AUD/JPY edged up from 72.05 to 72.15. At the same time, AUD/CHF fell from 0.6729 to 0.6717, retreating from the daily high of 0.6760.
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