Australian Dollar Rises Following Local Retail Sales Beat
- Australian Dollar rose following worse-than-expected local building approvals data
- Retail sales data was released better-than-expected, increasing by 0.6% in February
- AUD/USD extended its rise to a session high following Australian and Chinese PMI
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The Australian Dollar strengthened against the US Dollar following the release of building approvals data for the month of February, which came in below analysts’ expectations. Building approvals fell in February to -3.1 percent year-over-year, the largest contraction since November 2017. Monthly approvals came in at -6.2 percent versus -5.0 percent expected. On a more positive note, retail sales for February rose 0.6 percent versus +0.3 percent expected.
Local bond yields rose alongside the Australian Dollar following the data release. Shortly after, Chinese composite and services PMI data for March crossed the wires and also came in lower than estimates. Despite the worse-than-expected Chinese data, the Australian Dollar extended its rise to a new session high.
Today’s data comes on the heels of the RBA’s latest policy meeting where they chose to hold rates steady at 1.50 percent. A relatively important event risk later this week for the Australian Dollar could be the country’s trade balance, due out at 01:30 GMT on Thursday.