Dollar remains lower

The Australian dollar is more than half a US cent lower after falls in gold prices and US stocks on Friday.

At 0700 AEDT on Monday, the local unit was trading at 102.97 US cents, down from 103.64 cents on Friday.

Westpac New Zealand senior market strategist Imre Speizer said traders sold the currency on Friday night after it rallied earlier in the week.

“There was no one catalyst, but there was a combination of things that sparked an unwinding of positions,” he said from Auckland.

“Gold prices would be part of the explanation.

“The US stock market did have quite a big fall on Friday, and that was on the Walmart sales warning.”

Gold prices fell more than one per cent on Friday to a six-month low and Walmart shares lost 2.2 per cent after a report said the company’s sales so far in February were a “disaster”.

Speizer said the release on Tuesday of the minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s February 5 board meeting will be a focus for markets.

At that meeting, the RBA decided to keep the cash rate at three per cent, as it waits for the impact of previous rate cuts to take affect on the economy.

Speizer said the Australian dollar could fall as low as 102.27 during the local session on Monday.



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