Trading Room home page

$A flat after US job data, Chinese trade

Market watch top headlines

Australian reports

World reports

Stocks to watch

AMP, BHP, CBA, QAN, RMD, RIO,

AAP

2012-12-10

The Australian dollar is flat after weak Chinese trade data reduced earlier gains made on strong US job numbers.

At 1700 AEDT on Monday, the local unit was trading at 104.78 US cents, unchanged from Friday's close.

The currency rose over the weekend, after official figures on Friday showed 146,000 jobs had been added to the US jobs market in November.

The figures suggested that superstorm Sandy - which hit the US east coast in late October - had minimal impact on the country's economy.

But National Australia Bank co-head of foreign exchange strategy Ray Attrill said weaker-than-expected trade numbers from China had pushed the Aussie dollar down on Monday.

Chinese imports were flat in October, while exports rose by 2.9 per cent - less than the expected nine per cent rise.

"We hit our lows shortly after those numbers were released," Mr Attrill said.

"So we got quite a knee-jerk reaction."

However, the currency had experienced a tight trading range on the day, he added.

From 0700 on Monday, the Aussie dollar has traded between 104.66 US cents and 104.98 cents.

Mr Attrill said the market would look to both domestic data - including THE NAB's monthly business survey, and Westpac's consumer sentiment survey - and international events this week.

At 1700 AEDT, the Australian dollar was at 86.35 Japanese yen, up from 86.34 yen on Friday, and at 81.19 euro cents, up from 80.87 euro cents.

Meanwhile, Australian bond futures prices were lower, influenced by the strong US job numbers.

At 1630 AEDT on Monday, the December 10-year bond futures contract was at 96.930 (implying a yield of 3.070 per cent), down from 96.955 (3.045 per cent) on Friday.

The December three-year bond futures contract was trading at 97.370 (2.630 per cent), down from 97.400 (2.600 per cent).

JP Morgan interest rate strategist Sally Auld said the bond market had started off weaker on Monday.

"We opened lower in price, and equity markets were strong, which supported that," she said.

However, she said that weaker-than-expected national home loan data had pushed bond yields lower later in the day.

The number of home loans approved in October rose only 0.1 per cent from the previous month.

Economists had expected a rise of three per cent.

Caroline Smith