Investing.com

Investing.com - The Australian dollar revered direction and posted gains in Asian trade on Thursday with the currency well bid on offshore demand.

AUD/USD traded at 0.9235, up 0.10%, after dipping in early trade by a similar percentage.

Elsewhere, the New Zealand dollar held onto gains after a better than expected monthly trade surplus was reported for February in an otherwise thin data day in Asia.

New Zealand''s trade balance for February widened to a surplus of NZ$818 million, compared to an expectation of NZ$600 million and a previous month figure of NZ$286 million. Later on Thursday, Reserve Bank of New Zealand Deputy Governor Grant Spencer speaks in Hong Kong at a conference scheduled at 0430 GMT.

NZD/USD traded at 0.8588, up 0.41%, in Asia while USD/JPY moved from flat to trade at 101.89, down 0.16%.

Overnight, better-than-expected orders for long-lasting manufactured goods in February boosted the dollar against most major currencies, keeping expectations firm that Federal Reserve stimulus programs are on their way out this year while tighter monetary policy may arrive in 2015.

The dollar rose after the Commerce Department reported that U.S. durable goods orders rose 2.2% last month, wiping out two months of declines and surpassing expectations for a 1.0% increase.

Core durable goods orders, which exclude transportation items, inched up 0.2%, slightly below forecasts for a 0.3% gain.

The overall data indicated that economy is gaining momentum and brushing off a weather-related slowdown and cemented expectations for the Fed to wind down its monthly asset-purchasing program this year and hike interest rates the next.

The Fed''s asset-purchasing program, currently set at $55 billion in Treasury and mortgage debt a month, weakens the dollar by suppressing long-term interest rates.

Meanwhile across the Atlantic, the EUR/USD continued to come under pressure stemming from dovish comments from ECB officials on Tuesday, indicating that the monetary authority is mulling policy options to stave off deflationary risks.

Also on Wednesday, a widely-watched German consumer climate gauge remained unchanged last month.

In a report, research group Gfk said that its forward-looking index of Germany’s consumer climate remained unchanged at 8.5 for April from March, in line with market expectations.

The U.S. Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.03% at 80.14.

On Thursday, the U.S. is to publish final data on fourth-quarter economic growth as well as weekly data on initial jobless claims and private-sector data on pending home sales.



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