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Forex - Aussie gains as NAB quarterly survey ticks up

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - The Aussie gained in Asia on Thursday as a closely-watched business confidence survey showed an uptick in sentiment with investors looking ahead to U.S. jobs data at the end of the week.

AUD/USD traded at 0.7172, up 0.10%, while USD/JPY changed hands at 118.00, up 0.11%.

The NAB Quarterly Business Confidence index in Australia came in at plus-4, up from flat in the previous quarter.

The quarterly NAB looks a little out of date but is a good sector indicator, surveying 910 companies across the nonfarm sector compared with between 300 and 600 in the monthly survey.

Earlier, a researcher with the People's Bank of China suggested in a quarterly review that there was not much room to easy monetary policy further. The PBOC set the yuan's central parity rate against the U.S. dollar at 6.5419 Thursday, stronger than Wednesday's

6.5521.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was quoted at 97.35, up 0.11%.

Economists expect Friday's report to show that the U.S. economy created 190,000 jobs last month, after an increase of 292,000 in December.

Overnight, the dollar extended losses against the other major currencies on Wednesday after data showing that U.S. service sector activity slowed again in January prompted concerns that weakness in manufacturing may be spreading to other sectors.

The drop in the dollar came after the Institute for Supply Management said its non-manufacturing index declined to 53.5 from December's 55.3.

It was the lowest reading since February 2014 and was worse than expectations for a downtick to 55.1.

The report came after a separate survey by Markit also showing that U.S. service sector activity grew more slowly in January, indicating that the economy may be losing momentum.

The report overshadowed better-than-expected data on U.S. private sector hiring.

Payrolls processor ADP reported that the U.S. private sector added 205,000 jobs last month, beating economists' forecasts for an increase of 195,000.

Markets use the ADP data as a guide for the Labor Department's employment report, which will be released Friday and covers both government and private sector jobs growth.

Doubts over slowing U.S. growth and how much the Federal Reserve can raise rates this year pressured the dollar lower.

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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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