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$A is comfortably higher against $US

Chris Hutchings

The Australian dollar is comfortably higher against a US dollar that has strengthened despite slightly amid weaker-than-expected US jobs data.

At 0635 AEDT on Monday, the Australian dollar was worth 78.62 US cents, from 78.48 US cents on Friday.

Westpac's Imre Speizer says the US non-farm payrolls in December rose 148,000, falling short of the 190,000 the markets had expected.

"(But) the unemployment rate remained at 4.1 per cent, while average hourly earnings rose 0.3 per cent (as expected) although November was revised down from 0.2 per cent to 0.1 per cent," he said in a morning note.

"The US dollar index closed Friday up 0.1 per cent but remained near the bottom of its three-month range.

"(The) AUD rose from 0.7840 to 0.7875 - a three-month high."

Mr Speizer said no major news was expected that would influence the local currency.

"(If it) retains upward momentum, the next technical target 0.7900 (near the 13th Oct high), as long as the USD remains subdued."

The Aussie dollar is also sharply higher against the yen and the euro.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 78.62 US cents, from 78.48 on Friday

* 8890 Japanese yen, from 88.67 yen

* 65.43 euro cents, from 65.02 euro cents

(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEDT previous local session)