Aussie dollar sinks to two-week low as China data hurts export outlook

The Australian dollar fell against all its 16 major peers.
The Australian dollar fell against all its 16 major peers.PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY (BLOOMBERG) - The Australian dollar fell to a two-week low after worse-than-forecast China manufacturing data sapped the outlook for the South Pacific nation's commodity exports.

The Aussie dollar fell against all its 16 major peers as iron ore futures slid to the lowest level in seven months. The US dollar rose for the first time in five days against the yen as Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco president John Williams said four interest-rate increases this year is possible if the economy strengthens. China's yuan traded onshore rose for a fourth day after a stronger central bank fixing.

"Given China is Australia's largest trading partner, and key source of demand for Australian commodity exports, signs of moderating growth tend to dampen sentiment towards the outlook for the Australian economy and the Aussie," said Mr Peter Dragicevich, a foreign-exchange strategist at Nomura Singapore. "Base metal and steel prices remain under pressure."

The Australian dollar earlier rose as much as 0.3 per cent after retail sales data for April exceeded economists' forecasts. The currency then reversed gains as China's Caixin manufacturing gauge for May slid below 50 for the first time since June 2016.  AUD/USD dropped 0.5 per cent to 0.7396; reached 0.7385, lowest since May 15.

The Singapore dollar was trading at 1.0243 to the Aussie dollar.