Investing.com - The Australian dollar eased after mixed data that showed a drop in building approvals, but higher inflation expectations and weaker than expected manufacturing in top export destination China.
AUD/USD traded at 0.9262, down 0.16%, after a slew of data.
The US Dollar Index, measuring a basket of six currencies against the greenback, was down 0.02% at 79.54.
Australia''s April AI Group Services Index fell 0.3 point to 48.6, signalling problems for the services sector that makes up 70% of the economy and has remained in contraction for the second straight month.
TD Securities-MI''s monthly inflation gauge rose 0.4% month-on-month and 2.8% annually for April, above the Reserve Bank of Australia''s mid-point in the 2% to 3% target.
ANZ''s April job advertisement survey gained 2.2% in April, compared to a rise of 1.4% in March.
March building approvals in Australia fell 3.5%, well below the the expectation of a 1.0 gain month-on-month.
HSBC''s April final manufacturing PMI came in at 48.1, below the flash estimate of 48.3, but above the March final of 48.0.
Last week, the dollar gave up gains against most of the other major currencies after a report showing that the U.S. economy added jobs at the fastest pace in more than two years in April also showed weaker earnings growth and a drop in labor force participation.
The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in April, well above expectations for jobs growth of 210,000. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to a five and a half year low of 6.3%, compared to expectations for 6.6%.
Earlier in the week, preliminary data showed that U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of just 0.1% in the first three months of the year, well below forecasts for an expansion of 1.2%.
Despite the sharp slowdown in growth the Federal Reserve said Wednesday it would reduce its bond purchases to $45 billion a month. The Fed also said interest rates would remain on hold at record lows for a "considerable time" after the bond-buying program ends later this year.
Concerns that the euro zone is falling into deflation persisted after data on Wednesday showed that the annual rate of inflation ticked up to 0.7% in April, from a record low 0.5% the previous month, but still remained well below the European Central Bank’s target of close to but just below 2%.
The slight uptick in consumer prices did ease pressure on the ECB to implement further monetary easing measures to tackle low inflation in the region.
In the week ahead, market participants will be focusing on Thursday’s ECB monetary policy announcement. Rate reviews by BoE and the Reserve Bank of Australia will also be closely watched. Australia, New Zealand and Canada are all to release employment reports and the U.S. is to produce data on service sector activity.
On Monday, markets in the U.K. are to remain closed for the May Day holiday.
In the U.S., the Institute of Supply Management is to publish a report on service sector activity.
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