The Australian dollar advanced against most of its major counterparts in New York mid-day trading on Tuesday.

Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to lower the cash rate unexpectedly by a 25 basis points to 3%, effective from April 8. Economists had expected the central bank to hold key interest rate at 3.25%. The central bank has reduced the cash rate by 125 basis points since December 2008 and the official cash rate now stands at its lowest level in 49 years.

Extending previous session's uptrend, the Australian currency edged up further against the euro in New York mid-day deals today. At 12:05 pm ET, the Aussie hit a new multi-month high of 1.8527 versus the euro, compared to yesterdays' New York session close of 1.8799.

Final data from the Eurostat showed today that gross domestic product, or GDP, contracted 1.6% quarter-on-quarter in the final three months of 2008. The pace of decline was slightly up from the previously estimated fall of 1.5%. GDP fell 0.3% each in the third and second quarters.

The statistical office also revised fourth quarter annual GDP decline to 1.5% from an initial 1.3% fall.

After a downtrend in early morning trading, the Aussie ticked up against the US dollar and the Japanese yen during New York mid-day trading. As of now, the Aussie is trading near 0.7170 against the greenback and 72.16 versus the yen from recent lows of 0.7066 and 70.63, respectively.

Against the Canadian dollar, the Australian dollar also showed strength and hit a multi-day high of 0.8884 by about 9:30 am ET. Currently, the Aussie-loonie pair is worth 0.8842.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com