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Australia dollar edges up on positive data, kiwi near 3-1/2 wk low

Australia dollar edges up on positive data, kiwi near 3-1/2 wk low

SYDNEY: The Australian dollar nudged higher on Tuesday after a business conditions indicator jumped to near decade highs but the currency struggled at 77 US cents, which is proving to be a crucial barrier. The Australian dollar added 0.35 per cent to US$0.7665, coming off a three-month high of US$0.7696 hit in early February.

The Aussie has traded in a sideways direction since the beginning of the month, failing persistently at US$0.7700, despite a recent surge in the price of iron ore – Australia’s top export earner. Earlier in the session a survey of business conditions jumped to the highest in about a decade as firms reported a pick up in sales and employment, the latest in a string of reports pointing to gathering momentum heading into 2017.