Forex - Australian dollar weakens on home finance data, yen up slightly

A A A - " The Australian dollar weakened slightly on Monday as September home finance data rose more than expected, but showed the lowest proportion of first home buyers since March 2004, while the yen made gains on September current account data.

AUD/USD traded at 0.9380, down 0.02%, after home finance data rose 4.4%, compared to a forecast for a 4.0% gain. But overshadowing the data, the number of first home buyers as a proportion of loan commitments fell again, indicating such buyers continue to be priced out of the market.

USD/JPY reached 99.06, down 0.03%, as current account data showed a wider than expected surplus of JPY587.3 billion, marking an eighth straight month in the black on a weaker yen boosting earnings from abroad.

Last week, USD strengthened against the other main currencies after a stronger-than-forecast U.S. jobs report for October fuelled expectations that the Federal Reserve could start to taper its stimulus program as soon as next month.

The U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs in October, the Department of Labor said Friday, significantly higher than the 125,000 expected by economists. The unemployment rate ticked up to 7.3% from an almost five year low of 7.2% the previous month.

The report came one day after official data showed that the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.8% in the three months to September, well above expectations for growth of 2%.

In the week ahead, investors will be closely watching Thursday's Senate hearing to confirm Janet Yellen as the first chairwoman of the Federal Reserve.

Among other key data events, the euro zone and Japan are to release preliminary data on third quarter growth. The Bank of England is to publish its closely watched quarterly inflation report and the National Bank of Australia will release a survey on Australia business confidence and conditions. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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