Aust dollar slumps to 90c

Local currency hovering near three month low after upbeat US jobs data.

The Australian dollar has fallen as low 90 US cents for the first time in three months following a surprisingly strong US private employment report.

At 0700 AEDT, the currency was buying 90.27 US cents, down from 90.77 cents on Wednesday.

The unit hit a three-month low of 90 US cents during offshore trade after the ADP (Automatic Data Processing) national employment report for November showed private firms added 215,000 new jobs, which was much better than market expectations of 170,000.

Brown Brothers Harriman and Co currency strategist Win Thin said the news boosted the greenback against the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars by convincing traders the US Federal Reserve may begin tapering its stimulus measures following its December 17-18 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.

"People are talking about December tapering - that will certainly feed into it and perhaps get the dollar more traction, the US dollar that is," he said from New York.

The report from ADP, a business outsourcing services provider, is regarded as a precursor to official US non-farm payrolls data for the same month, due out on Saturday morning Australian time.

Mr Thin said any number above forecasts of 180,000 new jobs could push the Australian dollar below 90 US cents to possibly 89.06 US cents, where it was in August 2.

"The ADP - it's not always a good predictor of the jobs report," he said, adding the US Fed would be more likely to taper during the March quarter of 2014.

"The market has its perceptions."

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