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SYDNEY, Nov 8 AAP

November 08 2012, 5:39PM

The Australian dollar is half a US cent lower despite better than expected local jobs numbers, as negative market sentiment took hold after the re-election of US President Barack Obama.

At 1700 AEDT on Thursday, the local currency was trading at 104.07 US cents, down from 104.63 cents on Wednesday.

It was also at 83.14 Japanese yen, down from 83.80 Japanese yen, and at 81.59 euro cents, up from 81.34 euro cents.

Westpac chief currency strategist Robert Rennie said the Australian dollar followed global stock markets lower despite the release of better than expected domestic employment data.

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday showed the national unemployment rate was steady at 5.4 per cent in October, with 10,700 additional people finding jobs in the month.

Economists had expected 5000 new jobs to be created and an unemployment rate at 5.5 per cent.

"That data really wasn't able to lift the Aussie dollar as much as you would have expected," Mr Rennie said.

Mr Rennie said the local currency had rallied during Wednesday's local session on news of President Obama's win, but US traders reacted differently, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing more than two per cent overnight.

"When you contrast sentiment between where we left it on Wednesday afternoon and where New York left it (on Thursday morning) it was pretty much a 180-degree shift."

He said concerns among the US financial sector about greater regulation under President Obama and the looming "fiscal cliff" of enforced spending cuts and tax increases, due to apply in 2013 unless Democrats and Republicans can agree to alternative measures, had contributed to the falls on stock markets.

The main drivers for the Australian dollar on Friday were expected to be Chinese economic data and the Reserve Bank of Australia's quarterly statement on monetary policy, he said.

Meanwhile, Australian bond futures prices have rallied in the aftermath to the US election.

At 1630 AEDT on Thursday, the December 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 96.925 (implying a yield of 3.075 per cent), up from 96.885 (3.115 per cent) on Wednesday.

The December three-year bond futures contract was at 97.390 (2.610 per cent), up from 97.350 (2.650 per cent).

RBC fixed income strategist Michael Turner said global bond markets strengthened after the US election, as investors focused on the economic challenges facing Mr Obama.

"We rallied a lot overnight - we were up by nine basis points this morning," he said.

"Then we had another rise after the employment data today, but we've fallen back more recently."

By Evan Schwarten and Caroline Smith