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Aussie slightly down ahead of wage price data in early Asia

8/16/2017, 11:25:51 AMMarket Analysis
Aussie slightly down ahead of wage price data in early Asia

The Aussie traded a tad weaker in early Asia on Wednesday ahead of wage price data in an otherwise light regional session.

AUD/USD traded at 0.7821, down 0.01%, while USD/JPY changed hands at 110.61, down 0.055.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last quoted up 0.44% to 93.75.

In Australia, the wage price index for the second quarter is due with a 0.5% gain seen on quarter and a 1.9% increase on year.

Overnight, the dollar traded higher against a basket of global currencies on Tuesday, buoyed by retail sales data that topped forecasts, pointing to a rebound in consumer spending, lifting expectations of solid economic growth in the second half of the year.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday that retail sales rose 0.6% last month. That was the largest gain in seven months, ending four-consecutive months of lower than expected growth.

Also lifting sentiment on the dollar were comments from Bill Dudley on Monday, the New York Fed chief who is seen as an influential voice on the central bank’s policy-setting committee. Mr Dudley said he would favour a third rate hike this year, even as Wall Street expectations for such a move have dipped below 50%.

Meanwhile, safe-haven jitters continued to ease, as North Korean state media reported Tuesday that leader Kim Jong Un had delayed a decision on firing missiles towards the U.S. pacific territory of Guam, suggesting that his earlier threats were rhetorical.

In the wake of cooling tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, demand eased for safe-haven currencies such as the yen and Swiss franc, prompting the dollar to claw back recent losses.