Australia Markets closed

$A softer as commodities fall

The Australian dollar has edged lower, weighed down by falling commodity prices and weak Chinese manufacturing data.

At 0700 AEST on Monday, the currency was trading at 72.70 US cents, down from 73.02 cents on Friday.

ANZ senior manager FX Sam Tuck said the Aussie was still reeling from hitting fresh six-year lows on Friday night.

China's weak manufacturing data sent the currency to 72.60 US cents, it's weakest level since May 2009, he said.

"The Australian dollar is being driven by weaker commodity prices and the perceived demand from China story, with lower economic activity seeing less chance of Chinese demand for what Australia produces," he said.

China's July Purchasing Managers' Index showed manufacturing activity was at its weakest in 15 months.

"The global commodity complex seems to be in a downtrend at the moment," Mr Tuck said.

"Friday night saw West Texas Intermediate (crude oil) close through that 50 dollars a barrel level, which is a key bellwether for the broader commodities complex."

Westpac strategist Imre Speizer said Friday's sharp break lower paves the way for the Australian dollar to fall to 72 US cents during the next few days.

With the strong US dollar also putting pressure on the Aussie, the next major downside target is 70 US cents, he said.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 72.70 US cents, from 73.02 cents on Friday

* 89.96 Japanese yen, from 90.46 yen

* 66.20 euro cents, from 66.44 euro cents

* 110.66 New Zealand cents, from 110.71 NZ cents

* 46.86 British pence, from 47.07 pence

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

Source: IRESS