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AUD/USD Sits Just Below 0.82 after Positive Jobs Data

The Australian dollar strengthened toward a one-month high after a government report showed the nation’s jobless rate unexpectedly declined in December.

Australia’s currency gained at least 0.4 percent versus all of its 16 major counterparts as traders reduced bets the Reserve Bank will cut interest rates in the next 12 months. The yen halted a four-day advance against the dollar as a rally in Japanese stocks damped demand for haven assets. South Korea’s won fell as the central bank left interest rates at a record low and lowered its economic growth forecast.

“Headline employment was stronger than expected, and the detail was stronger than expected” in Australia, said Robert Rennie, head of currency and commodity strategy in Sydney at Westpac Banking Corp. “Notwithstanding the volatility we’ve seen in the employment data, that was a solid outcome, and not surprisingly Aussie is testing 82 U.S. cents.”

Bloomberg [1]

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