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SYDNEY, Feb 7 AAP

February 07 2013, 12:28AM

The Australian dollar dipped to a near three-month low following the release of domestic employment figures.

At 1200 AEDT on Thursday, the currency was trading at 103.07 US cents, down from 103.56 cents on Wednesday afternoon.

CMC foreign exchange dealer Tim Waterer said the currency initially rallied following the release of official employment statistics for January, before falling to 102.97 US cents, its lowest point since November 16.

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the unemployment rate remained steady 5.4 per cent in January, with total employment up 10,400.

But markets were disappointed to see full-time employment fall by 9,800 in the month, with the rise in total employment entirely due to an increase in part-time jobs.

"What happened in the currency market was the immediate move was higher but once traders had an opportunity to look a bit deeper into the numbers we saw the Australian dollar fall to its session lows," Mr Waterer said.

Mr Waterer said the Australian dollar was likely to remain under pressure for the remainder of Thursday's local session.

"We're seeing a bit of an indifferent performance by equity markets across Asia so I would expect the Aussie could drift a bit lower this afternoon," he said.

Meanwhile, Australian bonds futures prices were higher at noon.

At 1200 AEDT on Thursday, the March 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 96.535 (implying a yield of 3.465 per cent), up from 96.500 (implying a yield of 3.500 per cent) on Wednesday.

The March three-year bond futures contract was at 97.170 (2.830 per cent), up from 97.160 (2.840 per cent).