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Aussie, kiwi move lower after flurry of data, RBA holds

The Australian and New Zealand dollars moved lower against their U.S. counterpart on Tuesday, after the release of a flurry of data from both countries and the Reserve Bank of Australia left interest rates unchanged.

AUD/USD slid 0.31% to 0.7516, off the previous session’s one-and-a-half week highs of 0.7544.

In a widely expected move, the RBA held its benchmark interest rate at 1.75% at the conclusion of its policy meeting on Tuesday.

However, RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said the central bank remained willing to act if necessary, fuelling speculation over a rate cut in the near future.

Also Tuesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said that retail sales rose 0.2% in May, compared to expectations for a 0.3% gain. Retail sales inched up 0.1% in April, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated 0.2% increase.

A separate report showed that Australia’s trade deficit widened to A$2.218 billion in May from A$1.785 billion in April, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated deficit of A$1.579 billion.

Analysts had expected the trade deficit to narrow to A$1.500 billion in May.

NZD/USD declined 0.40% to trade at 0.7198, off Monday’s one-and-a-half week peak of 0.7240.

In New Zealand, data earlier showed that the NZIER business confidence index rose to 19 in the second quarter from a reading of 2 in the three months to March.

Meanwhile, investors remained cautious as Britain’s shock decision to leave the European Union, sparked uncertainty over the consequences of the U.K. vote on the country’s economy and the global economy as a whole.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.13% at 95.72.



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