Australian Dollar Jumps on Trade Balance Data Ahead of RBA
- The AUD/USD strengthened as trade balance data reported a 4th straight month of surplus
- Imports fell 5% as exports rose 1%, marking the largest decrease in imports since Dec. 2012
- AUD/USD rose roughly 0.2% following the data, RBA rate decision scheduled for later today
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AUD/USD rose nearly a quarter of a percent following the release of better than expected trade balance figures, which reported a 5 percent decrease in imports and a 1 percent increase in exports from January. Australia’s trade surplus increased to A$3.57b from January’s A$1.5b, marking the fourth straight month in which exports have outperformed imports. This release was also the strongest one-month decrease in imports since December 2012.
Exports of agricultural goods decreased slightly in February by A$195m, services and goods increased by A$76m and A$1,572m respectively. Commodities such as iron ore, coal and copper saw little change from the month prior. Merchandise exports to China increased by roughly A$100m, and fell A$3m with Japan.
The trade balance data comes just 3 hours before the Reserve Bank of Australia convenes for their monthly rate decision meeting, where they are expected to maintain the cash rate at 1.50 percent.
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