[REUTERS SYDNEY] The Australian dollar rose again on Friday to hit a near 2-1/2-month high after data showed China’s economy expanded at a faster-than-expected pace in the fourth quarter of 2016.
China is Australia’s No 1 trading partner while the Aussie is often seen as a liquid proxy for the yuan.
The Australian dollar was last up 0.2 per cent at US$0.7577 after briefly climbing to US$0.7589, a level not seen since Nov 11.
The Aussie is up about 1 per cent this week and was on track to clock its fourth straight weekly gain. It is up 5.3 per cent in January so far, making it one of the best performing major currencies in the world. “I have been fielding more questions about the Aussie’s resilience over the past 24 hours than any other currency,” said Stephen Innes, senior currency trader at OANDA Australia and Asia Pacific.
“Australia (is) an oasis in this politically contentious global environment. In addition to the political stability, yields remain attractive.” Data from China showed the world’s second-largest economy expanded 6.8 per cent in the fourth quarter, compared with expectations of 6.7 per cent, helped by higher government spending.
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