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$A up on improved global sentiment

Reported by AAP
Thursday, November 22, 2012
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The Australian dollar is higher, after a Middle East ceasefire and US data improved global sentiment.

At 1200 AEDT on Thursday, the Australian dollar was trading at 103.81 US cents, up from 103.56 US cents on Wednesday afternoon.

St George economist Janu Chan said the overnight announcement of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas had boosted the Australian dollar, along with other currencies.

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Egyptian foreign minister Mohamed Kamel announced the ceasefire ending more than a week of violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip.

"There's a marginal pick-up in risk sentiment following some easing in the Middle East conflict," Ms Chan said.

"There was also some positive US data around unemployment claims, and that might have helped sentiment as well."

US data showed that the number of people seeking unemployment benefits last week dropped significantly to a seasonally-adjusted 410,000.

The next significant driver for markets would be the release of Chinese manufacturing data on Thursday afternoon, Ms Chan said.

She added that with the US going on Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday (US time), global markets would be fairly quiet, with attention likely to return to Europe and the next meeting on debt-laden Greece's rescue package set for November 26.

The HSBC flash purchasing managers' index (PMI), a key indicator of manufacturing activity in China, will be released on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Australian bond futures prices were lower at noon.

At 1200 AEDT on Thursday, the December 10-year bond futures contract was at 96.840 (implying a yield of 3.160 per cent), down from 96.880 (3.120 per cent), on Wednesday.

The December three-year bond futures contract was trading at 97.330 (2.670 per cent), down from 97.380 (2.620 per cent).

01/11/2014 02:38Sydney, Australia. 1 November,2014
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