Aussie Approaches 5-month Highs Ahead of Employment Report
The Australian dollar continued to climb Wednesday, as consumer confidence rose and record low interest rates continued to boost housing finance. The attention now shifts to Thursday’s employment report, which will have a tough act to follow after February’s unexpected surge in full-time work.
In February Australia posted the biggest surge in full-time employment in more than 22 years. Employers added 80,500 full-time workers in February, the biggest monthly gain since August 1991, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported. Overall employment advanced 47,300, exceeding forecasts by more than three times. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6 percent.
The employment surge eased concerns about the labour market, which according to the Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to worsen this year. The central bank said last month it expects the unemployment rate to climb in 2014.
Tomorrow’s report could show the Australian labour market added 5,000 workers in March, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged.
The International Monetary Fund downgraded Australia’s outlook in 2014, underscoring ongoing challenges in the country’s struggling mining sector. The IMF’s revised World Economic Outlook said Australia’s economy will grow 2.7 percent this year, down from the previous estimate of 3 percent. Global growth was cut slightly from 3.7 percent to 3.6 percent.
The AUDUSD currency pair reached a session high of 93.86 in Asia, before consolidating at 0.9368, a gain of 0.1 percent. The pair has gained more than 1.4 percent over the past five days. Since the start of the year, the Aussie has surged more than 4.2 percent.
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