* China GDP slows to 7.5 pct in Q2, matches expectations
* Aussie dollar rises after the Chinese data
* Market had been worried about downside risk to China GDP
* U.S. retail sales coming up later on Monday
By Masayuki Kitano
SINGAPORE, July 15 The Australian dollar climbed
on Monday after China's second-quarter economic growth matched
market expectations, easing worries that the world's
second-largest economy could be slowing faster than expected.
The data did not have too much effect on other major
currencies with both the greenback and euro largely steady in
China's annual economic growth slowed to 7.5 percent in the
second quarter of 2013 from 7.7 percent - the second straight
quarter of slower growth.
The number follows data on Wednesday showing an unexpected
fall in Chinese exports for the first time in 17 months that had
raised concerns GDP could be weaker than expected. That in turn
hit the Aussie, with the currency falling on Friday under 90
U.S. cents for the first time since September 2010.
Not only is China Australia's biggest export market but the
Aussie is often sold as a liquid proxy to hedge any weakness
After the GDP figures, the Aussie dollar stood 0.6 percent
higher at $0.9108, moving away from Friday's low of
"The Australian dollar rose since there had been fears that
the number might come in lower. But at the same time, the data
wasn't spectacularly good either," said Satoshi Okagawa, senior
global markets analyst for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
(SMBC) in Singapore.
Okagawa said the Australian dollar probably would not fall
sharply below $0.9000 in the near term, adding that Australia's
AAA sovereign rating and still relatively high interest rates
were supportive factors.
Other Chinese economic indicators released along with the
GDP were mixed, with retail sales exceeding expectations but
industrial output and fixed-asset investment coming in below
The U.S. dollar eased 0.1 percent against a basket of major
currencies to 82.924, staying below a three-year high of
84.753 set last Tuesday. The euro held steady at about $1.3073
The dollar was little changed versus the yen at 99.29 yen
, with Japanese markets closed on Monday for a national
Much of the market is bullish on the U.S. dollar over the
long-term, because the Federal Reserve is seen likely to be the
first among major central banks to step away from ultra-loose
The value of net long positions in the U.S. dollar rose to
$27.94 billion in the week ended July 9, doubling in value since
late June, according to the Commodity Futures Trading
Later on Monday, the dollar could take cues from data on
U.S. retail sales.
Another focal point for this week is Fed Chairman Ben
Bernanke's testimony before Congress on Wednesday and Thursday.
Bernanke had sent the dollar reeling last week when
accenting the dovish side of policy, while playing down the
strength of recent payrolls data and warning that the Fed would
push back if financial markets tightened prematurely.