FOREX-Australian dollar rises after RBA gives no hint of more easing

Tue Aug 6, 2013 4:17am EDT

Related Topics

* Aussie rises after RBA cuts rates by 25 bps, as expected

* RBA offers no clear sign it would ease again

* Euro unmoved by Praet's comments, dollar index steady

By Anirban Nag

LONDON, Aug 6 (Reuters) - The Australian dollar rose on Tuesday after the Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates, as expected, and gave no clear steer that it would ease policy further, disappointing some who had positioned for it.

The RBA lowered its main cash rate by a quarter point to a record low of 2.5 percent, a cut which was fully factored in. Some in the market had geared up for a 50 basis point cut and a form of forward guidance or pledge to keep rates low, analysts said.

The Australian dollar rose 0.6 percent to $0.8989, pulling away from a three-year low of $0.8848 set on Monday after weaker-than-expected retails ales data.

"The bounce in the Aussie is unlikely to last. The RBA has said it expects a further decline in the currency," said Neil Mellor, currency strategist at Bank of New York Mellon. "I think a move above 90 U.S. cents would be sold into."

While the Aussie dollar is likely to be pressured by slowing growth in China as well as a strengthening U.S. economy and rising U.S. yields, it could win some support in the near-term, said Hamish Pepper, strategist at Barclays, Singapore.

"Positioning is extremely short. Most of the market, it seems, has been selling Aussie dollars up to this point, so perhaps this is a good juncture to take profit on those trades," he said.

Moves in other major currencies were relatively subdued, with the euro flat at $1.3255, shrugging off comments from European Central Bank policymaker Peter Praet that the bank's forward guidance on low rates had an easing bias and further rates cuts were an option.

The U.S. dollar rose 0.1 percent to 98.50 yen, helped by a slight rise in U.S. Treasury yields and a recovery in Japanese stock markets.

The U.S. currency had retreated on Monday after below-forecast U.S. jobs data on Friday prompted some analysts to push back their expectations of when the Federal Reserve would begin slowing its bond-buying stimulus.

"Unless Bernanke gives a clear signal when the Fed is likely to move, we think the dollar index and euro/dollar will trade in a range," BNY's Mellor added. The dollar index was flat on the day at 81.867.

The dollar had slipped versus the yen earlier in the day, partly due to stop-loss dollar selling, but regained ground as Japan's benchmark Nikkei share average pared losses and turned higher, traders said.

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