The Aussie fell further in Asia on Thursday with trade data weighing slightly along with China Caixin PMI figures and as the market looked ahead to end of the week nonfarm payroll figures following a Fed review on rates that might be key to confirm a widely expected June hike.
Australia reported its trade balance for March at A$3.107 billion, a tad narrower than the A$3.4 billion surplus seen. China reported the Caixin services PMI for April dropepd to 51.6, compared with a 52.6 level expected, and the lowest in early a year.
Overnight, the Federal Reserve kept its benchmark rate unchanged at 0.75-1% on Wednesday.
The Federal Reserve struck a familiar tone in its statement concerning interest rates, pointing out that interest rate increases will be gradual in 2017, and highlighted that growth in economic activity had slowed in the first quarter while household spending rose “only modestly”.
Meanwhile, on the jobs and inflation front, the Federal Reserve said that the labour market has continued to strengthen as job gains were “solid” in recent months while inflation continued to run somewhat below 2%.
The Fed reiterated its view that monetary policy remains accommodative to support both an uptick in labour market conditions and a sustained return to 2% inflation.
Following the release of the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep its benchmark rate unchanged, the dollar jumped while gold prices slipped to session lows, as investors expectations soared for a June interest rate hike.
According to investing.com’s Fed rate monitor tool, nearly 70% of traders expect the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates in June, compared to about only 60% prior to the interest rate decision.