Aussie, kiwi move higher after Australian data, Fed minutes
The Australian and New Zealand dollars moved higher against their U.S. counterpart on Thursday, after the release of strong Australian employment data and as dovish minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting weighed on the greenback.
AUD/USD edged up 0.15% to 0.7938, just of a more than one-week high of 0.7950 hit overnight.
Earlier Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said the number of employed people increased by 27,900 last month, beating expectations for a 20,000 gain. The number of employed people rose by 20,000 in June, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated 14,000 increase.
The unemployment rate hit 5.6% in July from 5.7% in June, in line with market expectations. June’s figure was upwardly revised from a previously estimated rate of 5.6%.
NZD/USD added 0.12% to trade at 0.7322, after hitting a one-week peak of 0.7335 overnight.
Meanwhile, sentiment on the greenback weakened after the minutes of the Fed’s July policy meeting showed that members of the central bank remain divided over the need to raise interest rates further this year, citing low inflation.
In July, policymakers voted to hold the target rate to a range of 1% to 1.25%.
The minutes were released after disappointing U.S. housing sector data dampened recent optimism over the strength of the economy.
The greenback was also hit by fresh political tensions in Washington after U.S. President Donald Trump disbanded two high-profile business advisory councils, sparking concerns over the administration’s ability to implement his economic reforms.
The move came after several chief executives quit in protest over his remarks blaming weekend violence in Virginia not only on white nationalists but also on anti-racism activists who opposed them.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.11% at 93.31.