Dollar hits two week high

The Australian dollar is higher, after hitting its strongest level in two weeks, helped by a lift in metals prices and better local consumer sentiment data.

At 0700 AEDT on Thursday, the local unit was trading at 103.44 US cents, up from 103.39 cents on Wednesday.

In overnight, trade it peaked at 103.62 US cents, its highest level since January 30.

“That largely reflected the more positive consumer confidence reading from yesterday,” Bank of New Zealand currency strategist Mike Jones said. “Overall, it’s been a pretty lacklustre session, with consolidation being the main theme.”

On Wednesday, the Westpac/Melbourne Institute announced that its consumer sentiment index rose by 7.7 per cent to 108.3 in February, its highest level since December 2010. Mr Jones said the main focus for markets on Wednesday night was a comment from Bank of England governor Mervyn King, saying he expected the UK to have a slow economic recovery.

“The Aussie has been sidelined, with all the attention on the British pound and the Bank of England’s latest forecast,” Jones said from Wellington.

“The most eye-catching thing overnight has been a sharp fall in the pound, which has seen the Aussie dollar surge higher against the pound.”

Early on Thursday morning, the Australian dollar peaked at a three-week high of 66.56 British pence.



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