$A higher after positive US jobs report
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SYDNEY, Feb 4 AAP
February 04 2013, 5:37PM
The Australian dollar is higher, after more encouraging US economic figures helped currency markets stay in a positive mood.
At 1700 AEDT on Monday, the local unit was trading at 104.37 US cents, up from 103.99 cents on Friday.
US jobs data released during the offshore session on Friday night showed a 0.1 per cent rise in the unemployment rate to 7.9 per cent in January.
However, what really took the market's eye was that monthly job growth in 2012 averaged 181,000, well above the prior estimate of 153,000 jobs.
CMC Markets senior trader Tim Waterer said those figures gave the Australian dollar a boost.
"The financial markets rally appeared to receive vindication from the raft of US data on Friday, with traders seeing the upward revisions to payrolls data as a vote of confidence for US economic progression," Mr Waterer said.
Meanwhile, the euro continues to trade at its highest levels against the US dollar in over a year.
On Monday, it finished the Australian session at 136.27 US cents, after peaking at 137.12 US cents on Friday, its highest level since November 2011.
"The euro continues to attract much of the buying flows with traders pricing out the disaster scenarios which plagued the currency in 2012," Mr Waterer said.
The board of the Reserve Bank of Australia will have its first meeting of the year on Tuesday and is expected to keep the cash rate at three per cent after cutting it by a quarter of a percentage point in December.
Mr Waterer said the Australian dollar is likely to trade in a tight range until the outcome of the RBA meeting.
"Recent global improvements, namely (economic data) from China, appear to have given the RBA the luxury of sitting on their hands regarding rates for the time being, though traders are still a little cagey of going long on the currency until we see what tone the RBA strikes with its statement on Tuesday," he said.