Forex - Aussie falls as China trade data far weaker than expected - - The Aussie fell further as key trade partner Chine reported dismal February estimates of trade, though the Chinese New Year holiday slowdown was a key factor.

AUD/USD traded at 0.7427, down 0.55%, while the safe-have yen gained with USD/JPY down 0.46% to 112.93.

In China, trade data showed exports slumped 25.4% in February year-on-year, well below the 12.5% drop expected, and imports declined 13.8%, also below the 10% drop seen for a trade balance surplus of $32.59 billion, far short of the $50.15 billion expected.

"We suspect that the drop in export growth largely reflects seasonal distortions due to annual shifts in the timing of Chinese New Year," Capital Economics said in a note to clients.

"In 2015, the holiday fell unusually late which meant that more of the pre-holiday rush to meet orders and less of the post holiday disruptions took place in February, causing exports to jump 48.9% y/y. This will have provided an unflattering base for comparison for last month's figures. This base effect should reverse this month - exports fell 14.60% y/y in March 2015 - and result in a sharp rebound in export growth."

Earlier in Japan, a busy data day sees the current account for January come in at an unadjusted surplus of ¥521 billion, narrower than the surplus of ¥719 billion seen

As well, fourth quarter GDP dropped 0.3%, less than the fall of 0.4% quarter-on-quarter seen and down 1.1% year-on-year, less than the 1.5% drop expected.

In Australia, the NAB business confidence survey for February came in at plus-3, unchanged from the previous reading revised up from plus-2, along with the NAB business survey which reached plus-8, above the previous of plus-5.

Earlier, comments from Australia moved the currency slightly down.

Weak wage growth means less pressure on inflation and likely accommodative monetary policy, Reserve Bank of Australia Deputy Governor Philip Lowe said Tuesday.

"It is possible that wage outcomes will remain very subdued even in countries with strong labor markets. If this turns out to be the case then it is likely that inflation rates will also continue to be very low and monetary policy very accommodative," he said.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last quoted at 97.04, down 0.08%.

Overnight, the dollar trimmed gains against the other major currencies on Monday, as Friday's employment data still lent some support, although lower expectations for a U.S. rate hike in the near future limited gains.

The U.S. economy added 242,000 new jobs last month and the unemployment rate held steady at an eight-year low of 4.9%.

But average hourly earnings fell by 0.1% during February, reversing the 0.5% rise seen in January.

The weak wage numbers indicated that consumer inflation is likely to remain muted. Federal Reserve policymakers are watching inflation closely as they try to determine when to raise rates again.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda underlined the positive aspects of the negative interest rate policy adopted by the BoJ in January and which took effect on February 16.

The policy "works in the direction of raising stock prices and lowering the value of the yen," Kuroda said during a speech in Tokyo. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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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.

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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