Forex - AUD/USD falls ahead of RBA policy statement


08/02/2014 11:23 AST

AUD/USD fell during morning Asian trading hours ahead of RBA's monetary policy statement.

Reserve Bank of Australia will issue Statement of Monetary Policy for Q1 at 1130 local time (0030 GMT). The RBA is expected to raise inflation forecast in the quarterly policy statement and comment on the currency and the labor market.

Earlier on Friday, Australian Industry Group released the construction index for January that fell to 48.2 from 50.8 in December.

In Japan, data showing trade for the first 20 days of January will be released at 0850 Tokyo time (2350 GMT), and the December indices of leading, coincident and lagging indicators at 1400 (0500 GMT).

The coincident composite index (CI), which reflects current business conditions, is expected to post the fourth straight rise in December, up by 0.7 point. The leading CI, which measures the state of the economy three months ahead, is forecast to increase 1.1 points in December, which is also the fourth rise in a row.

In China, where the markets opened after a week-long lunar new year holidays, at 0945 Beijing time (0145 GMT) HSBC China service is expected to release PMI for January.

USD/JPY was down 0.4% at 102.06, AUD/USD fell 0.08% at 0.8952 and NZD/USD was down 0.03% at 0.8245.

In the U.S., the dollar found some support after data revealed that the number of individuals filing for unemployment assistance in the U.S. fell more than expected last week.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell by 20,000 to 331,000 from the previous week's revised total of 351,000. Analysts were expecting jobless claims to fall by 16,000.

A separate report showed that the U.S. trade deficit widened significantly in December, as exports dropped 2.2% and imports rose 1.6%.

The numbers rekindled perceptions that the U.S. economy continues to recover and is in less need of Federal Reserve stimulus tools such as bond purchases, which weaken the dollar to spur recovery.

Investors were turning their attention to Friday's U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for January, after poor U.S. manufacturing data earlier in the week sparked concerns over a possible slowdown in the economic recovery.

Growing sentiments that harsh winter weather may be bruising economic indicators and not waning demand gave the dollar some support as well.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was flat at 80.98.

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