$A higher ahead of FOMC minutes

The Australian dollar is higher, trading in a tight range, as investors play it safe ahead of a statement by the US Federal Reserve.

At 1200 AEDT on Wednesday, the local unit was trading at 103.44 US cents, up from 103.29 cents on Tuesday.

Since 1700 AEDT on Tuesday, it has traded between 103.38 US cents and 103.60 cents.

CMC Markets senior trader Tim Waterer said the Australian dollar has had a decent 24 hours.

"The Australian dollar now seems to be in consolidation mode in the wake of the Reserve Bank of Australia minutes (released on Tuesday)," he said.

"It appears the RBA is in not a great rush to cut the rate."

Mr Waterer said the Australian dollar got a further boost from better than expected German consumer confidence figures, released on Tuesday night, Australian time.

"Equity markets responded well to that and it was a good night for risk assets like the Australian dollar," he said.

"But today it's really been consolidating its gains."

During Wednesday night's offshore session, the US Federal Reserve will release the minutes of its January 29-30 Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) meeting.

Mr Waterer said the market would be looking for indications that the FOMC considering a timeline to the end of its bond buying program, called quantitative easing.

However he said it is unlikely that was discussed at the January meeting.

"But gold has slumped on US dollar strength, with traders starting to think the Fed will ease back on quantitative easing earlier than expected," he said.

Mr Waterer expects the Australian dollar to trade in a range between 103.30 US cents and 103.80 cents on Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Australian bond market was weaker.

At 1200 AEDT on Wednesday, the March 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 96.430 (implying a yield of 3.570 per cent), down from 96.440 (3.560 per cent) on Tuesday.

The March three-year bond futures contract was at 97.070 (3.930 per cent), down from 97.090 (2.910 per cent).

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9331+0.0004+0.04%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5560+0.0006+0.12%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6754+0.0002+0.02%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg