Forex – Aussie Gains As Employment Data Aids Sentiment, China On Holidays

Dollar weaker in Asia – The Aussie rose after employment data came in mildly better-than-expected on Thursday and the yen held gains despite weak core machinery orders as the dollar stayed under pressure on concerns about the expected surge in US government borrowing.

changed hands at 106.71, down 0.27%, while traded at 0.7933, up 0.08%.

Australia reported jobs data with the up by 16,000 workers, compared to a gain of 15,300 seen for a steady of 5.5% and a of 65.6% as expected.

Earlier, Japan reported core machinery orders for December with a slump of 11.9% , compared to a 1.9% decline seen and a fall of 5.0% , compared to a gain of 2.2% expected. The data will be followed later by seen up 2.7% on month.

China starts the Lunar New Year holidays on Thursday which run through Feb. 21, with other markets in Asia on shorter holidays including Hing Kong for Thursday and Friday and Singapore for Friday and Monday.

The , which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies,fell 0.07% to 88.85.

Overnight, the dollar traded lower against a basket of major currencies as market participants questioned whether the faster pace of inflation would continue while an “ugly” retail sales report added to downside momentum.

The Labor Department said Wednesday its Consumer Price index rose 0.5% last month after rising 0.2% in December, while year-on-year CPI grew to 1.8% from 1.8% in December.

The Commerce Department, meanwhile, said on Thursday that retail sales fell 0.3% last month, confounding expectations for a 0.2% rise.

After an initial surge higher the dollar retreated sharply as market participants highlighted that a large increase in apparel and medical services prices accounted for the jump in consumer prices and questioned whether these two components would continue to post strong gains in the months ahead.

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