China growth fears put dent in dollar

The Australian dollar was trading lower after China's Finance Minister indicated that the world's second largest economy was likely to grow at a slower pace than previously forecast.

The Australian dollar was trading lower after China's Finance Minister indicated that the world's second largest economy was likely to grow at a slower pace than previously forecast.

Late on Friday, the dollar was trading at US91.67¢, down from US92.71¢ on Thursday.

ANZ foreign exchange strategist Andrew Salter said the market reacted to comments by Lou Jiwei, but not as much as expected. He said investors were dejected after what was a difficult week.

"I was surprised we didn't react more to the Finance Minister's comments regarding the outlook for Chinese growth," Mr Salter said.

"I sense that a lot of participants in the market are somewhat despondent given the volatile price action of the week and are just happy to get into the weekend.

"It's been a very tough week in foreign exchange.

"There's been a lot of misdirection, there's been a lot of volatility and some of the signals coming from the US Federal Reserve have been less than clear."

Meanwhile, bond futures prices have retained most of the gains that were made after US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke eased concerns about the tapering of economic stimulus.

Commonwealth Bank head of debt research Adam Donaldson said the bond market was largely unchanged from Thursday, when gains were made after Dr Bernanke said the stimulus was still necessary because the US jobs market remained weak and inflation was too low.

"Comments from Bernanke that they intend to be slow in withdrawing stimulus helped provide a lot of support to the market and that helped support the rally we saw in the Australian bond market yesterday," he said.

"We've effectively managed to hold on to those gains even though equities have soared and credit markets are doing extremely well today."

The September 10-year bond futures contract was at 96.250 (implying a yield of 3.750 per cent), slightly down from 96.260 (3.740 per cent) on Thursday, while the three-year contract was steady at 97.300 (2.700 per cent).

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