Dollar rises off US

The Australian dollar is a quarter of a US cent higher following the release of more encouraging US employment data.

At 0700 AEDT on Friday, the local unit was trading at 102.74 US cents, up from 102.40 cents on Thursday.

On Thursday night, Australian time, it was reported that new claims for US unemployment benefits fell last week, staying below their four-week average.

Westpac New Zealand senior market strategist Imre Speizer said more investors moved into risk assets such as the Australian dollar in anticipation of more good news when non-farm payrolls for February – the official US employment figures – are released early Saturday morning (Australian time).

“So, they will latch onto any clues about the jobs market,”

Speizer said from Auckland. “That’s why risk sentiment took a bounce last night.

“Market sentiment is strong after the better US data.” Markets also will keenly watch for the releases of Chinese international trade figures, due out on Friday afternoon.

Speizer said he expected the Australian dollar to trade in a range between 102.20 US cents and 103.00 cents on Friday.



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