$A edges higher ahead of FOMC meeting

The Australian dollar has edged slightly higher ahead of a key meeting of the US central bank.

At 1700 AEDT on Wednesday, the Australian dollar was trading at 104.73 US cents, up from 104.52 US cents on Tuesday.

Since 0700 AEDT, the local currency traded between 104.57 US cents and 104.76 cents.

National Australia Bank (NAB) co-head of foreign exchange strategy Ray Attrill said there was little happening on markets.

"We've seen a slight rise, but it's really just follow-through from yesterday's session," he said.

"Australia's currency has done well following NAB's business survey and the New Zealand dollar has improved after better than expected trade numbers yesterday."

On Tuesday, a monthly business survey from NAB showed increased optimism among Australian firms in December.

The business confidence index rose 12 points to plus three in the month.

Also on Tuesday, New Zealand reported a trade surplus of $NZ586 ($A473.50) million in December, compared with a deficit of $NZ700 million ($A565.61 million) in November.

Mr Attrill noted that news on Wednesday of a date - September 14 - for this year's federal election had not affected the market.

He added that Australian markets would be looking to US economic events - particularly a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee tonight - to drive it.

Also on Wednesday, the US will release gross domestic product data, followed by key job figures on Friday.

At 1700 AEDT, the Australian dollar was trading at 95.25 Japanese yen, up from 94.79 yen on Tuesday and was at 77.65 euro cents, down from 77.74 euro cents.

Meanwhile, Australian bond futures prices were almost unchanged.

At 1630 on Wednesday, the March 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 96.520 (implying a yield of 3.480 per cent), down from Tuesday's local close of 96.525 (3.475 per cent).

The March three-year bond futures contract was unchanged at 97.130 (2.880 per cent).

Commonwealth Bank head of debt research Adam Donaldson said the Aussie bond market was looking at overseas events to drive it.

"In the near term we think it'll be trends in the US, which we think will be critical for where our market sits," he said.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9262-0.0025-0.27%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5513-0.0022-0.40%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6696-0.0025-0.37%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg