Australian dollar slips on China data

Australian dollar falls on weaker-than-expected Chinese trade data.

The Australian dollar is lower due to weaker than expected Chinese trade data.

At 1200 AEST, the local unit was trading at 91.36 US cents, down from 91.83 cents on Tuesday.

Shortly before noon, data from China showed the country's monthly trade surplus fell by 14% in June, as imports and exports both declined.

CMC Markets foreign exchange dealer Tim Waterer said the Australian dollar was consolidating gains it had made in recent days.

He said the local currency would be range-bound on Wednesday, trading between 91.30 and 91.90 US cents as traders position themselves ahead of key offshore events.

Those events include a scheduled speech by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday night, Australian time, and the release of Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes.

"The Aussie will probably sit in a tight range but it looks like it's being supported at the moment by a good risk appetite today," Mr Waterer said.

"Any potential break higher will likely be reserved until after we hear from Dr Bernanke and the FOMC minutes."

Mr Waterer said investors seemed undeterred by the Westpac/Melbourne Institute index which showed a slight decline in consumer sentiment in July.

Meanwhile, Australian bond futures prices were higher.

At 1200 AEST, the September 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 96.115 (implying a yield of 3.885%), up from 96.105 (3.895%) on Tuesday.

The September three-year bond futures contract was at 97.200 (2.800%), up from 97.170 (2.830%).