Aussie slides on stronger greenback

The Australian dollar has fallen for the sixth consecutive week as the greenback strengthens on expectations that the US Federal Reserve will wind back economic stimulus measures.

The Australian dollar has fallen for the sixth consecutive week as the greenback strengthens on expectations that the US Federal Reserve will wind back economic stimulus measures.

At 5pm on Friday, the local unit was trading at US91.02¢ down from US91.23¢ on Thursday.

The currency has fallen steadily over the past six weeks, losing US6¢ since October 25.

Recent interventionist comments by the central bank have helped keep a lid on the local currency.

St George trader Janu Chan said a weak performance on Asian markets on Friday and a blocked bid for GrainCorp had kept the Australian dollar under pressure.

"It's a combination of those factors, and then there's the ongoing uncertainty of quantitative easing in the US and when that will start to unwind," Ms Chan said.

A key business group questioned the surprise decision that ended Archer Daniels Midland's $3.4 billion offer for Australia's largest grain handler, saying it risked undermining the government's own statement that "Australia is open for business".

Traders expect some volatility in the Australian dollar next week because of the large amount of economic data coming out.

The highlights of next week's local economic diary are the Reserve Bank of Australia's interest rate decision on Tuesday, and Wednesday's release of September quarter national accounts, which will include gross domestic product data.

At 5pm the local currency was buying €66.85¢, down from €67.16¢ on Thursday.

The Australian dollar was worth 93.07 Japanese yen, down from 93.2 yen on Thursday.

The Australian bond market firmed slightly in low volumes, despite a higher inflation reading in Germany.

National Australia Bank head of research Peter Jolly said trading was light on Friday because of the Thanksgiving Day public holiday in the US.

At 4.30pm on Friday the December 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 95.83 (implying a yield of 4.16 per cent), up from 95.8 (4.2 per cent) on Thursday.

The December three-year bond futures contract was at 96.92 (3.08 per cent), up from 96.88 (3.12 per cent).

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