The Australian dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested offers around the US$ 0.6710 level and was supported around the $0.6610 level. The Australian government is likely to announce additional fiscal stimulus measures. Reserve Bank of Australia will convene on 3 February and is expected to reduce its benchmark rate by 75bps to 100bps. Treasurer Swan reported While the annual inflation rate remains high, this reflects inflationary pressures from earlier in 2008. Inflation is expected to continue to ease over the next 6-12 months, as the full effect of weaker world economic conditions flows through. Data released in Australia saw the Q4 consumer price index decline 0.3% while core inflation was up 0.75% and took the annual pace lower to 4.35%. Additionally, the January skilled vacancies index printed at -7.7%. Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.6520 level.
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