Aust dollar weakens in early trade

Local currency slips as China defends short-term interest rate jump.

The Australian dollar is one US cent weaker after the People's Bank of China said a short-term jump in interest rates would not hurt the world's second biggest economy.

At 0630 AEST, the local unit was trading at 90.68 US cents, down from 91.67 cents on Friday.

The currency struggled during offshore trade as the Chinese central bank on Sunday said liquidity in the banking system "remains ample" as it justified its tighter monetary policy.

Over the weekend, China's official news agency Xinhua corrected a report that cited Finance Minister Lou Jiwei as saying the country's growth target this year was 7%. That was below an official 7.5% forecast made in March.

Xinhua said it corrected a quote attributed to Lou to "there is no doubt that China can achieve this year's growth target of 7.5%" from its earlier story citing him as saying "there is no doubt that China can achieve the growth target, though the 7% goal should not be considered as the bottom line".

Analysts had interpreted the original report as a signal that the government may be willing to tolerate economic growth in the second half of the year significantly below 7%.