The Australian dollar was boosted by better-than forecast retail sales data, which lessens the possibility a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia at its meeting tomorrow. Local retail sales jumped 0.8 percent in September from 0.5 percent in August, recording the biggest increase in seven months.
The encouraging data had a positive effect on the aussie, lifting AUDUSD by half a percent to a session high of $0.9496. The pair has moved off a two-week low of $0.9420 hit last Friday.
In other currencies, trading volumes were light, especially in the yen pairs due to markets being closed in Japan today. The yen was flat against the US dollar and traded a tight range just above 98.64, consolidating gains made from Friday’s rally to a high of 98.83 yen.
The euro remained near a six-week low against the US dollar, after a sharp 2 percent decline last week. The single currency is under pressure due to speculation that the European Central Bank may lower the benchmark interest rate its policy meeting later this week. EURUSD opened the session at 1.3485 and dipped to as low as 1.3441 before ending with a 0.05% change at 1.3493.
GBPUSD was steady, trading just above 1.5920, as market participants await UK construction PMI data.