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Dollar bounces on US data

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The Australian dollar is higher following solid manufacturing figures out of China and weak US economic growth figures.

At 1200 AEST on Thursday, the local currency was trading at 92.95 US cents, up from 92.81 cents on Wednesday.

The US economy almost ground to a halt in the first quarter of 2014, with gross domestic product (GDP) increasing at an annual rate of 0.1 per cent.

It was the slowest growth since the final quarter of 2012, and much weaker than analyst expectations of growth at 1.0 per cent.

The soft data weakened the US dollar, giving the Australian dollar a boost.

The local currency then reached an intra-day high of 93.04 US cents after the release of Chinese manufacturing figures at 1100 AEST, which showed a slight increase in activity.

“The PMI (purchasing managers’ index) came out slightly above the previous outcome but it was slightly below expectations,” Westpac chief currency strategist Robert Rennie said.

“The combination of reasonable data out of China and last night’s much softer than expected first quarter GDP in the US has seen the Aussie trading well today.

“The driver really seems to be the weaker US dollar rather than a stronger Aussie dollar.”

Australian bond futures prices were also higher.

The June 2014 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 96.070 (implying a yield of 3.930 per cent), up from 96.055 (3.945 per cent) on Wednesday.

The June 2014 three-year bond futures contract was at 97.060 (2.940 per cent), up from 97.050 (2.950 per cent).

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