Bloomberg News

Australia Dollar Falls From One-Week High After U.S. Sales Data

January 12, 2012

Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s dollar retreated from a one-week high versus the dollar after U.S. retail sales increased less than forecast and jobless-benefits claims fell, damping risk appetite.

The Aussie surged earlier after a report showed China’s inflation cooled, increasing speculation the Asian nation may move to spur growth. New Zealand’s dollar, nicknamed the kiwi, erased an earlier advance.

“You had a good increase in Aussie-dollar during Asia, but after the U.S. data was released it gave up all its gains,” said Charles St-Arnaud, a foreign-exchange strategist at Nomura Holdings Inc. in New York. “The sentiment has been flattened.”

Australia’s dollar traded 0.2 percent higher at $1.0330 at 2:01 p.m. New York time, after rallying earlier as much as 0.7 percent to $1.0378, the highest level since Jan. 4. The Aussie fetched 79.28 yen.

New Zealand’s currency fell 0.4 percent to 79.37 U.S. cents. It gained 0.1 percent earlier to 79.81 cents, the strongest since Nov. 9. The kiwi sank 0.5 percent to 60.92 yen.

Commerce Department data showed sales at U.S. retailers climbed 0.1 percent in December, versus a 0.3 percent gain forecast in a Bloomberg survey. U.S. unemployment claims climbed by 24,000 to 399,000 in the week ended Jan. 7, Labor Department data showed. A Bloomberg survey forecast 375,000 claims. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was little changed after rising 0.3 percent earlier.

China’s consumer prices increased 4.1 percent from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said in Beijing today, compared with 4.2 percent in November.

The nation is Australia’s biggest trading partner and New Zealand’s second-largest export market.

--Editors: Greg Storey, Kenneth Pringle

To contact the reporters on this story: Allison Bennett in New York at; Mariko Ishikawa in Tokyo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dave Liedtka at

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