Dollar slips in early trade

The local currency slips after early rally

The Australian dollar has lost some ground after weaker-than-expected United States economic growth figures drove an earlier rally in the local currency overnight.

At 0700 AEST, the local unit was trading at 92.78 US cents, down from 92.80 cents on Wednesday.

The Australian dollar climbed to 93.47 US cents on Wednesday evening before falling back below 93 US cents.

The rise came after disappointing gross domestic product (GDP) figures out of the US were interpreted by investors as a sign the Federal Reserve may hold off on reining in its economic stimulus program.

News of the possible stimulus wind-back last week saw the Australian dollar fall to its lowest point in almost three years against the consequent surging greenback.

Westpac New Zealand senior market strategist Imre Speizer said it was the weak figures out of the US rather than Australia's leadership change, from Julia Gillard to Kevin Rudd, that had driven the local currency higher against the US dollar.

However, he said a better indicator of the effect of the leadership change was to look at how the local currency fared against the New Zealand dollar, which fell almost one cent overnight.

"When you get big moves in the cross rate like you did last night, that's usually telling you that either something good is happening in New Zealand, or something bad is happening in Australia," said Mr Speizer.

"In this case, you can probably put your finger on the leadership change."

Mr Speizer said investors would now await the release of another batch of US economic data on Thursday night, Australian time, including personal spending figures for May.

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