$A lower in quiet session
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SYDNEY, Jan 21 AAP
January 21 2013, 5:37PM
The Australian dollar is lower following a quiet day of trading.
At 1700 AEDT on Monday, the Australian dollar was at 105.11 US cents, down from 105.23 US cents on Friday afternoon.
OzForex head of corporate dealing Jim Vrondas said the currency had traded in a tight range since Friday despite news of improved economic growth in China late last week.
"It is surprising the Aussie dollar hasn't really jumped back up," he said.
"Following Friday's China data you would expect to see the Aussie dollar up testing 106 US cents but there is obviously a lot of resistance."
Official figures released on Friday showed China's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.8 per cent in the 12 months to December, compared to a rise of 7.4 per cent in the 12 months to September.
Mr Vrondas said it had been a quiet trading session for the currency, with US markets closed on Monday night due to a public holiday.
Since 0700 AEDT the currency has traded between 104.93 US cents and 105.22 US cents.
He said the next key event for the Australian dollar would be the release of official inflation figures for the December quarter on Wednesday.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has a target range of two to three per cent annual inflation, which influences its monthly interest rate decisions.
Mr Vrondas said a weak inflation figure would raise expectations the RBA would cut at its February meeting, which would push the Australian dollar lower.
At 1700 AEDT, the Australian dollar was trading at 94.13 Japanese yen, down from 94.73 yen on Friday and at 78.92 euro cents, up from 78.62 euro cents.
Meanwhile, Australian bond futures prices are higher after rebounding from Friday's selloff.
UBS interest rate strategist Matthew Johnson said futures prices rallied on Friday night but lost some ground during Monday's local session.
"It (the market) has been led down today by US Treasury notes, so its more of a global thing than a local thing," he said.
At 1630 AEDT on Monday, the March 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 96.665 (implying a yield of 3.335 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 (implying a yield of 2.760 per cent), up from 97.190 (2.810 per cent).
By Evan Schwarten