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Risk sentiment pushes $A up against $US

Chris Hutchings

The Australian dollar is higher against its US counterpart as risk sentiment remains positive with no major news to give direction.

At 0635 AEDT on Thursday, the Australian dollar was worth 76.77 US cents, up from 76.53 US cents on Wednesday.

Westpac's Imre Speizer says risk sentiment has remained elevated overnight enabling bond yields, equities and the Australian dollar to nudge higher.

"There was little fresh news of note for markets overnight," he said in a Thursday morning note.

"The US dollar index is unchanged on the day. (The) EUR was locked in a narrow 1.1580-1.1610 range. USD/JPY made a round trip from 113.80 to 113.40 and back.

"(The AUD extended the day's rally from 0.7660 to 0.7685."

The main local event risk on Thursday was September housing finance data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

"(It) is expected to show the number of owner occupier loans up by 2.0 per cent.

"September's result for investors will be interesting with the value of loans surprisingly rising by 4.3 per cent in August, but this is likely related to refinancing activity."

Mr Speizer said he expected to see the local currency "remain stuck in a two-week old range between 0.7625 and 0.7730".

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


One Australian dollar buys:

* 76.77 US cents, from 76.53 on Wednesday

* 87.34 Japanese yen, from 87.11 yen

* 66.22 euro cents, from 66.00 euro cents

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