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AUD/USD is back above the important $0.95 level after September retail sales figures showed a 1.3% increase, topping analysts’ estimates of a 0.5% rise. In addition, over the weekend China revealed the fastest rate of increase in its non-manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) for 13 months. The October report came in at 56.3, up from 55.4 in September. Any reading above 50.0 indicates an expansion, so we can see that the sector is performing well.
Both these sets of economic data helped the Australian dollar, as China is a major destination for Australian exports. It would appear the interest rate cuts made by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) over the past six months are paying off, as lower borrowing costs have boosted consumer demand.
The RBA has set interest rates at a record low of 2.5% and, as Chris Weston explained earlier, the bank is expected to keep rates on hold. But traders will be paying attention to the language the central bank uses. If it is suggested that rates will not be changed until the first quarter of 2104, we could head towards the $0.96 level.