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Forex - Aussie dollar down early in Asia, eyes on U.S. jobs data

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - The Australian dollar weakened in early Asian trade Friday with the market focused on U.S. jobs data later in the day.

In Asia, Australia starts at 0930 Sydney (2330 GMT) with the AI Group/HIA Construction Index for May, with the last reading in April coming in at 45.9, just off the Feb low at 44.2.

AUD/USD traded at 0.9333, down 0.07%.

In New Zealand at 0000 GMT (1300 Auckland) is the QV House Price Index for May, which was last up 8.4% yoy. After accelerating steadily through most of 2011 to 2013, the Index topped out at at 10% rise in Dec 2013.

NZD/USD held at 0.8491, down 0.09%.

Overnight, the dollar remained mostly lower against the other major currencies.

The euro dropped to four-month lows against the greenback after the European Central Bank lowered its benchmark interest rate to a record-low 0.15% from 0.25%, compared to expectations for a cut to 0.1%.

Speaking at the ECB's post-policy meeting press conference, Mario Draghi said the rate decision would contribute to bringing inflation rates closer to the centrak bank's target of just below 2% and that it is determined to safeguard this anchoring.

In the U.S., the Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending May 31 increased by 8,000 to 312,000 from the previous week's revised total of 304,000. Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 6,000 to 310,000 last week.

In a widely expected move, the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted to keep interest rates on hold at their current record low of 0.5%. The bank also made no change in its quantitative easing program, which remains at £375 billion.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.01% to 80.38.

Market participants now turned their attention to Friday's report on U.S. nonfarm payrolls for further indications on the strength of the U.S. job market after a data on Wednesday showed that private sector employment rose less than expected last month.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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