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Aussie dollar lower on quiet day

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SYDNEY, Jan 21 AAP

January 21 2013, 12:19AM

The Australian dollar is lower on a quiet day on international and local markets.

At 1200 AEDT on Monday, the Australian dollar was at 104.95 US cents, down from Friday's local close of 105.23 US cents.

Commonwealth Bank currency strategist Joseph Capurso said a lack of news on local or international markets had kept the Aussie dollar subdued on Monday.

"The US market will be closed tonight, and even Wellington is closed today, so there's been very little happening on markets," he said.

"We might get a bit of action later in the week, with the Bank of Japan meeting tomorrow - but I think the Aussie is going to be stuck in a pretty tight range today."

Since 0700 AEDT on Monday, the local currency has traded between 104.94 and 105.15 US cents.

The US will close on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr Day.

Mr Capurso said local inflation figures due on Wednesday could influence the Australian dollar later in the week, given their importance for the central bank's cash rate decision in early February.

"After last week's pretty weak New Zealand CPI (consumer price index), I think there's a risk that Australia's CPI could be quite weak as well," he said.

"That could push the Aussie down a bit, with more market pricing for a rate cut.

"However, I don't think we'll see the Aussie dollar fall as low as 104 (US cents) or underneath that."

At its meeting on December 4, the Reserve Bank of Australia cut the cash rate by a quarter of a percentage point to three per cent, and is set to meet again on February 5.

Meanwhile, Australian bond prices were higher at noon.

At 1200 AEDT on Monday, the March 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 96.670 (implying a yield of 3.330 per cent), up from Friday's close of 96.610 (3.390 per cent).

The March three-year bond futures contract was at 97.240 (2.760 per cent), up from 97.190 (2.810 per cent).