Forex - AUD/USD lower following Aussie housing data

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Investing.com - The Aussie dollar lost ground against its U.S. rival during Monday's Asian session after being hit by another concerning economic data point.

In Asian trading Monday, AUD/USD fell 0.14% to 1.0312. Monday's losses extended declines seen last week when the Aussie lost 0.86% against the greenback. The pair is likely to find support at 1.0254, Friday's low and a 15-week low and resistance at 1.0398, the high from February 6.

Earlier today, official data revealed Australian home-loan approvals dropped in December for a third consecutive month. Loans for new homes fell 1.5% in December, more than double the 0.7% November decline.

Approved loans for new residential construction rose 1.2% in December, marking the first increase in that statistic since July. First-time home buyers in Australia comprised less than 15% of the approved loans in December, the data show, one of the weakest levels in months.

Last week, official data showed that the Australian economy added 10,400 jobs in January, beating expectations for a 5,000 increase, following a 3,800 decline the previous month. While Australia's unemployment rate of 5.4% is better than many places in the developed world, the U.S. included, the recent spate of weak economic data could open the the door for the Reserve Bank of Australia to cut rates again later this year.

RBA did not lower rates at its meeting last week, leaving the benchmark overnight cash rate at 3%, but traders are betting the odds are about even the central bank will pare rates when it meets again in early March.

Amid expected weak revenues from the mining and materials industries, Australia is looking to other groups such as construction to pick up the slack. That could spark RBA to act to entice more buyers into the residential real estate market.

Elsewhere, AUD/JPY slipped 0.36% to 95.39 while EUR/AUD climbed 0.19% 1.2973. AUD/NZD rose 0.04% to 1.2357.


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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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