Aussie Dollar Rises on Strong Jobs Data; Euro Inches Up Ahead of PMI Data
The Australian dollar rose on Thursday in Asia on stronger-than-expected jobs data for March. The euro also inched up ahead of the release of euro zone PMI data later in the day.
The Australian economy added 25,700 new jobs in March, compared to an estimate of 12,000. The March figure was also well above the February number at 4,600. The unemployment rate was 5.0%, in line with expectation and up slightly from the previously reported 4.9%.
The AUD/USD pair traded 0.2% higher to 0.7187 after the release of the data.
“The Australian labour market data is crucial for the outlook for the Australian economy, Australian interest rates and the direction of AUD/USD. The RBA has nominated the labour market data as the key guide to their monetary policy outlook,” Richard Grace, chief currency strategist and head of international economics at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a morning note that was cited by CNBC.
“Although a stronger than expected Australian labour market result will push AUD higher, participants may be still positioned to sell AUD into rallies because of the medium‑term risk of RBA rate cuts,” Grace said.
Meanwhile, the USD/CNY pair was unchanged at 6.6866. On Wednesday, China’s statistics office had said gross domestic product grew 6.4% in the first quarter from a year earlier, a touch above the 6.3% expected. Industrial output and retail sales also outperformed.
The U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback agains a basket of other currencies was unchanged at 96.685.
The USD/JPY pair was down 0.1% to 111.93.
The GBP/USD pair was near flat 1.3039.
Trading is expected to be thin for the rest of the week, as U.S. markets and some Asian stock exchanges will be closed on Friday for the Easter holiday.