Commodity Currencies Extends Slide As Most Asian Markets Traded Lower

Commodity currencies such as the Australian, the New Zealand and the Canadian dollars continued to be weak against their major counterparts in the Asian session on Friday, as most Asian stock markets traded lower following the mixed cues overnight from Wall Street and lower commodity prices. Investors also turned cautious ahead of the release of the U.S. Labor Department’s closely watched monthly jobs data later today.

Employment is expected to increase by 180,000 jobs in April after rising by 98,000 jobs in March. The unemployment rate is expected to tick up to 4.6 percent from 4.5 percent.

Crude oil for June delivery is currently down by 0.90 percent of $44.62 per barrel. The crude oil prices fell amid unrelenting U.S. production and expectations Libyan supplies will get back to normal.

In other economic news, data from the Australian Industry Group showed that the construction sector in Australia continued to expand in April, and at a faster rate, with a Performance of Construction Index score of 51.9, up from 51.2 in March.

Data from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand showed that the two-year ahead inflation expectations in New Zealand increased in the June quarter. Expectations for the next two year rose to 2.17 percent from 1.92 percent in the previous survey. The survey was conducted by the Nielsen Company for the RBNZ.

Thursday, the Australian dollar had fallen 0.20 percent against the U.S. dollar, 0.41 percent against the yen, and 1.02 percent against the euro.

The NZ dollar dropped 0.13 percent against the U.S. dollar, 0.37 percent against the yen, and 1.00 percent against the euro.

The Canadian dollar slipped 0.25 percent against the U.S. dollar, 0.40 percent against the yen, and 0.73 percent against the euro.

In the Asian trading, the Australian dollar fell to nearly an 8-month low of 1.4910 against the euro and a 2-week low of 82.68 against the yen, from yesterday’s closing quotes of 1.4822 and 83.32, respectively. If the yen aussie extends its downtrend,…

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