18/11/2008 - 10:55

Dollar down at noon, bonds mixed

18/11/2008 - 10:55

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The Australian dollar was lower at noon, after losing about 0.5 US cents following the release of the Reserve Bank of Australia's November board meeting minutes.

The Australian dollar was lower at noon, after losing about 0.5 US cents following the release of the Reserve Bank of Australia's November board meeting minutes.

At 1200 AEDT, the Australian dollar was trading at $US0.6437/41, down from Monday's close of $US0.6450/58.

During the morning, the local unit moved between a low of $US0.6431 and a high of $US0.6565.

The Australian dollar was trading $US0.6485 just before the RBA minutes were published at 1130 AEDT.

The minutes said the RBA contemplated a smaller 50 basis points rate cut in November but opted for a bigger move of 75 basis points due to the risks of weakening demand.

"There was an advantage in moving the setting of monetary policy quickly to a neutral position," the minutes said.

The currency fell sharply, dropping to $US0.6434 at 1137 AEDT.

Easy Forex senior dealer Francisco Solar said suggestions from the minutes that the local economy would be somewhat weaker than first thought hurt the Australian dollar.

"That's not good news for a market trying to look for a bottom here," Mr Solar said.

The RBA also gave some guidance about its intervention in currency markets, which it said was to provide liquidity and "not designed to defend any particular level of the exchange rate".

Also, the minutes said the Australian dollar "appeared to have been used as a proxy for less liquid investments, including emerging market currencies".

Mr Solar said the local currency was expected to remain under pressure.

"The way the Aussie dollar has been performing over the past week or so, its rebounds are becoming quite shallow," Mr Solar said.

"It looks like it is on a weak footing."

The Australian dollar has moved lower since the release of the minutes due to negative sentiment from news global financial services company Citigroup would sack 50,000 of its workers.

At 1200 AEDT, the RBA's trade weighted index (TWI) was at 53.7, down from Monday's close of 54.1.

Meanwhile, the Australian bond market was mixed at noon.

At 1200 AEDT, the yield on the Commonwealth Government March 2019 bond was at 4.942 per cent, down from Monday's close of 4.967 per cent, while the yield on the June 2011 bond was at 3.780 per cent, up from 3.775 per cent.

On the Sydney Futures Exchange, the December 10-year bond futures contract price was at 95.050, up from Monday's close of 95.020, while the December three-year contract price was at 96.195, down from 96.205.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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