- The Australian dollar dropped to over three-year lows against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, after the release of dismal employment data from Australia, while strong U.S. reports continued to support demand for the greenback.

AUD/USD hit 0.8796 during late Asian trade, the pair''s lowest since August 2010; the pair subsequently consolidated at 0.8803, plummeting 1.27%.

The pair was likely to find support at 0.8772 and resistance at 0.8917, the session high.

Official data showed that the number of employed people in Australia declined by 22,600 in December, confounding expectations for a 7,500 increase, after a 15,400 rise in November whose figure was revised down from an initially estimated 21,000 increase.

Australia''s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.8% last month, in line with expectations.

Meanwhile, the greenback remained supported after data released on Wednesday showed that manufacturing activity in the Empire State expanded at the fastest pace since May 2012 in January as new orders rose sharply.

A separate report showed that U.S. producer price inflation rose at the strongest rate in six months in December.

The strong data reinforced expectations that the U.S. economic recovery will continue to deepen going into this year and offset lingering concerns over last week’s surprising weak U.S. nonfarm payrolls report.

The Aussie was also sharply lower against the euro, with EUR/AUD rallying 1.31% to 1.5460.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish reports on consumer price inflation and initial jobless claims, in addition to data on manufacturing activity in Philadelphia.

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