Investing.com - The Australian dollar revered direction and
posted gains in Asian trade on Thursday with the currency well bid
on offshore demand.
AUD/USD traded at 0.9235, up 0.10%, after dipping in early trade by
a similar percentage.
Elsewhere, the New Zealand dollar held onto gains after a better
than expected monthly trade surplus was reported for February in an
otherwise thin data day in Asia.
New Zealand's trade balance for February widened to a surplus of
NZ$818 million, compared to an expectation of NZ$600 million and a
previous month figure of NZ$286 million. Later on Thursday, Reserve
Bank of New Zealand Deputy Governor Grant Spencer speaks in Hong
Kong at a conference scheduled at 0430 GMT.
NZD/USD traded at 0.8588, up 0.41%, in Asia while USD/JPY moved
from flat to trade at 101.89, down 0.16%.
Overnight, better-than-expected orders for long-lasting
manufactured goods in February boosted the dollar against most
major currencies, keeping expectations firm that Federal Reserve
stimulus programs are on their way out this year while tighter
monetary policy may arrive in 2015.
The dollar rose after the Commerce Department reported that U.S.
durable goods orders rose 2.2% last month, wiping out two months of
declines and surpassing expectations for a 1.0% increase.
Core durable goods orders, which exclude transportation items,
inched up 0.2%, slightly below forecasts for a 0.3% gain.
The overall data indicated that economy is gaining momentum and
brushing off a weather-related slowdown and cemented expectations
for the Fed to wind down its monthly asset-purchasing program this
year and hike interest rates the next.
The Fed's asset-purchasing program, currently set at $55 billion in
Treasury and mortgage debt a month, weakens the dollar by
suppressing long-term interest rates.
Meanwhile across the Atlantic, theEUR/USD continued to come under
pressure stemming from dovish comments from ECB officials on
Tuesday, indicating that the monetary authority is mulling policy
options to stave off deflationary risks.
Also on Wednesday, a widely-watched German consumer climate gauge
remained unchanged last month.
In a report, research group Gfk said that its forward-looking index
of Germany's consumer climate remained unchanged at 8.5 for April
from March, in line with market expectations.
The U.S. Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the
greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down
0.03% at 80.14.
On Thursday, the U.S. is to publish final data on fourth-quarter
economic growth as well as weekly data on initial jobless claims
and private-sector data on pending home sales.
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