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Dollar holds above 88c

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The Australian dollar remains above 88 US cents as the market digests the latest consumer price index data.

The price of Australian consumer goods and services rose 0.8 per cent in the  December quarter.

The consumer price index (CPI), a key measure of  inflation, rose 2.7 per cent in the year to December, the Australian Bureau of
Statistics said on Wednesday.

The headline CPI was expected to rise by 0.5 per cent in the December quarter for an annual rate of 2.5 per cent, according to an AAP survey of 14 economists.

Early today, the Australian dollar was trading at 88.03 US cents, down from 88.19 cents on Tuesday.

Data out of New Zealand on Tuesday showed higher-than-expected inflation with a rise of 0.1 per cent in the December quarter. Economists were expecting a 0.1 per cent fall.

Westpac senior market strategist Imre Speizer said the Australian dollar bounced around on Tuesday night and was now in wait-and-see mode ahead of the inflation data.

“Global markets last night could be summed up as being undecided,” Speizer said.

“But looking ahead today, clearly the focus will be on the Aussie CPI.

“Those watching the NZ positive surprise might be bracing themselves for a positive Aussie surprise as well but that being the case, some of that might already be priced in.”

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