Aust dollar hits 3.5 month low

Local currency falls at noon after RBA jawboning, strong US economic data.

The Australian dollar is at a three-and-a-half month low after comments from the Reserve Bank of Australia governor and strong United States economic data.

At 1200 AEDT, the local unit was trading at 89.37 US cents - its lowest level since August 30 - down from 90.31 cents yesterday.

The Australian dollar fell one US cent overnight after Glenn Stevens said he would prefer a lower dollar over lower interest rates as a mechanism to spur the economy.

"I thought 85 US cents would be closer to the mark than 95 US cents... but really, I don't think we can be that precise," Mr Stevens told The Australian Financial Review.

The comments, as well as soft local unemployment data and strong US retail sales data, put downward pressure on the Australian dollar, CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said.

"The RBA governor again reminded markets of his view that the currency needs to decline to the mid-eighties against the US dollar," Mr Spooner said.

"Improved retail sales led to a stronger US dollar overnight with the Australian dollar being the weakest against the greenback amongst all of the G10 currencies.

"Although the US economic data has markets looking forward towards Fed tightening, the Aussie was (also) impacted by a rising unemployment rate.

"While jobs growth here remains insufficient to employ the growing work force it's likely that the RBA will maintain its easing bias on interest rates and this is a negative for the Aussie Dollar."

Meanwhile, the December futures contracts expired, replaced by the March contracts.

The December 10-year bond futures contract expired at 95.745 (implying a yield of 4.255 per cent), unchanged since yesterday.

The December three-year bond futures contract expired at 96.960 (3.040 per cent), down from 96.970 (3.030 per cent).

The March 10-year bond futures contract was at 95.725 (implying a yield of 4.275 per cent), up from 95.715 (4.285 per cent) yesterday.

The March three-year bond futures contract was at 96.950 (3.050 per cent), down from 96.955 (3.045 per cent).

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