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$A rallies on Obama win

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AAP

2012-11-07

The Australian dollar rallied to a fresh six-week high on news US President Barack Obama had won a second term in office.

At 1700 AEDT on Wednesday, the currency was trading at 104.63 US cents, its highest point in six weeks, up from 104.27 cents on Tuesday.

Easy Forex currency dealer Tony Darvall said news of Mr Obama's win in the presidential election had pushed the US dollar lower, which provided a boost for other major currencies.

The US dollar dropped against the Japanese yen and the euro, as well as the Australian dollar, once it became clear Mr Romney would not win the election.

Mr Darvall said that was partly because Mr Obama's win meant the US Federal Reserve was likely to continue its program of buying bonds to push down lending rates.

He said Australian dollar would probably continue to rally overnight and could rise past 105 US cents.

"The way the market is moving is higher and a re-test of the 105 US cent mark is on the cards," he said.

At 1700 AEDT, the Australian dollar was at 83.80 Japanese yen, up from 83.43 yen on Tuesday, and at 81.34 euro cents, down from 81.54 euro cents.

But he said concerns Mr Obama would struggle to reach a crucial agreement with the Republican-dominated Congress to measures to bring down US debt in the next two months was likely to hurt the Australian dollar in the next few weeks.

If an agreement cannot be reached, the US will face a so-called `fiscal cliff' of automatic spending cuts and tax increases in January.

"Traders are definitely going to use that as a catalyst for a move down," Mr Darvall said.

He said the major driver for the currency on Thursday would be the release of key official Australian employment data.

An AAP survey of 16 economists revealed a median forecast for the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures to show a 0.1 per cent rise in the unemployment rate to 5.5 per cent in October.

Meanwhile, Australian bond futures prices finished Wednesday lower, despite rallying on Mr Obama's win.

At 1630 AEDT on Wednesday, the December 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 96.885 (implying a yield of 3.115 per cent), down from 96.900 (3.100 per cent) on Tuesday.

The December three-year bond futures contract was at 97.350 (2.650 per cent), down from 97.340 (2.660 per cent).

Deutsche Bank fixed income strategist David Plank said news of President Obama's win boosted demand for local bond futures.

"The consensus view is that an Obama win doesn't really do anything in terms of potential Fed (US Federal Reserve) policy down the line," he said.

"I suppose (there are) some concerns about what it means about the fiscal cliff and the negotiations around that," Mr Plank said.

Evan Schwarten