$A weakens following N Korea news
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SYDNEY, Feb 12 AAP
February 12 2013, 5:34PM
The Australian dollar has fallen to a fresh three-month low on speculation North Korea had carried out a fresh nuclear test.
At 1700 AEDT on Tuesday, the Australian dollar was trading at 102.55 US cents, down from 103.01 cents on Monday.
The local currency fell as low as 102.42 US cents, its lowest level since October 23, during Tuesday afternoon.
Commonwealth Bank currency strategist Joseph Capurso said the currency moved lower during the afternoon session after news reports suggested North Korea may have carried out a nuclear test.
"Possibly the news about North Korea and missiles and the like may have pushed it down in the last little while," he said.
Mr Capurso said the next major event for the currency would be the release on Wednesday night of US retail trade figures for January.
He said the figures would give the first indication of the effect of tax hikes agreed by the US Congress at the start of January.
"That (the retail data) could be a weak one and that might give the Aussie dollar a bit of a boost," he said.
At 1700 AEDT, the Australian dollar was at 95.37 Japanese yen, unchanged from Monday, and 76.65 euro cents, down from 76.98 euro cents.
Meanwhile, Australian bond futures prices finished Tuesday's local session slightly lower.
At 1630 AEDT, the March 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 96.570 (implying a yield of 3.430 per cent), down from 96.580 (3.420 per cent) on Monday.
The March three-year bond futures contract was at 97.220 (2.780 per cent), down from 97.230 (2.770 per cent).
Westpac senior market strategist Damien McColough said no particular trend was evident.
"The market's drifted off a couple of ticks but without any real material drivers overnight ... so I think we're caught watching offshore and feeding off their results," he said.
By Evan Schwarten and Neda Vanovac