Forex – Aussie Slips Lower After Data, RBA; Kiwi Turns Higher

Aussie edges lower, kiwi gains ground in late trade – The Australian dollar slipped lower against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday, after the release of downbeat Australian data and the local central bank left interest rates unchanged, while the New Zealand dollar moved higher as the greenback slightly weakened.

fell 0.20% to 0.7861, the lowest since January 11.

Earlier Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia left the benchmark interest rate unchanged at , in a widely expected move.

The decision came shortly after the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that retail sales fell in December, compared to expectations for a downtick of only 0.2%.

A separate report showed that Australia’s trade balance hit a in December from a surplus of A$0.036 billion the previous month, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated deficit of A$0.63 billion.

Analysts had expected the trade balance to reach a surplus of A$0.25 billion in December.

gained 0.39% to trade at 0.7293, off a two-and-a-half week low of 0.7261 hit overnight.

Meanwhile, the kiwi benefited from a retreat from the greenback, as the U.S. currency took a breather after climbing to a nearly two-week high thanks to last week’s .

The , which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.15% at 89.44 by 02:00 a.m. ET (06:00 GMT), off the nearly two-week peak of 89.58 reached overnight.

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