Forex - Aussie holds on after weak trade data, China services PMI down

Shutterstock photo - - Attention remained focused on the euro in Asia Thursday though data sets out of Australia and China disappointed on growth prospects, particularly for exports such as iron ore.

EUR/USD traded at 1.3600, up 0.01%, ahead of a widely awaited European Central Bank decision on monetary policy.

Australia's April trade balance fell into a deficit at A$122 million, compared to an A$300 million surplus expected.

AUD/USD however held at 0.9278, up 0.02%, after the data.

The May HSBC China Services PMI fell to 50.7 from 51.4 in April.

"Latest data signalled a relatively big drop in the business expectations index, which fell to an 11-month low of 58.1, down from 60.7 in April," said HSBC chief China economist Qu Hongbin.

"Both the new business and outstanding business indices were slightly weaker than April. The employment index, unchanged over the month, remained at a relatively low level. Coming after the stronger Manufacturing PMI reading for May, the slight disappointment in the headline Services PMI suggests that growth momentum remains slow and private sector sentiment is weak. We think policymakers should continue to ease monetary and fiscal policies in the coming months to help support growth."

Overnight, the dollar turned mixed against the other major currencies as the release of weak U.S. economic reports dented demand for the greenback.

Payroll processing firm ADP said non-farm private employment rose by 179,000 in May, below expectations for an increase of 210,000. April's figure was revised down to a gain of 215,000 from a previously reported increase of 220,000.

A separate report showed that U.S. trade deficit widened to $47.24 billion in April, from $44.18 billion in March whose figure was revised from a previously estimated deficit of $40.40 billion. Analysts had expected the trade deficit to widen to $40.80billion in April.

Meanwhile, sentiment on the euro remained vulnerable after Eurostat on Tuesday said consumer price inflation in the euro zone increased by 0.5% last month, down from 0.7% in April and missing expectations for a reading of 0.7%. The rate stands well below the ECB target of near but just under 2%.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, fell 0.03% to 80.69. 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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