$A lower on RBA cut hopes
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SYDNEY, Nov 30 AAP
November 30 2012, 5:39PM
The Australian dollar is lower, on increased expectations of a rate cut from the central bank next week.
At 1700 AEDT on Friday, the local currency was trading at 104.33 US cents, down from 104.67 US cents on Thursday.
RBC Capital Markets currency strategist Michael Turner said rising hopes of a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) had weakened the Australian dollar.
"The Aussie's a bit friendless at the moment," he said.
"It was pretty buoyant for most of the week, but then as people started to change their RBA view, it's fallen out of favour in the last 24 hours."
The RBA board meets on Tuesday, December 4, for its final monthly meeting until February and is largely expected to cut the cash rate from its current 3.25 per cent, to three per cent.
At 1700 AEDT on Friday, the Australian dollar was at 85.95 Japanese yen, down from 85.96 yen on Thursday and at 80.22 euro cents, down from 80.83 cents on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Australian bond futures prices were higher.
At 1630 AEDT on Friday, the December 10-year bond futures contract was at 96.915 (implying a yield of 3.085 per cent), up from 96.860 (3.140 per cent) on Thursday.
The December three-year bond futures contract was trading at 97.380 (2.620 per cent), up from 97.330 (2.670 per cent).
Nomura rates strategist Martin Whetton said bonds had risen after a weak reading for capital expenditure on Thursday.
"We're a lot higher today - it's just continuing on from yesterday, because there's nothing going on offshore," he said.
Capital expenditure numbers on Thursday showed mining companies slashing their spending plans for the current financial year by 8.1 per cent, or $9.6 billion.
The private sector overall planned to cut its capital expenditure by $5.9 billion or 3.3 per cent compared to three months ago - the biggest such revision in the survey's history.
Mr Whetton said this had increased expectations of a rate cut.
By Caroline Smith