The Aussie continued its yoyo performance, dropping to the back of the field again after a week in the lead. It lost more than one US cent and fell by a cent and a quarter against the pound. Although it is one of the strongest performers in the year to date the Australian dollar has languished over the last month, losing five cents to sterling. As it does so often, the Reserve Bank of Australia influenced the currency. On this occasion it was the monetary policy statement that hindered it, not because the Cash Rate benchmark was left unchanged but because the RBA held out no prospect of higher rates.
Economic data from Australia carried no coherent message. Purchasing managers' index readings showed manufacturing activity growing more slowly while firms in the services sector pushed ahead at a faster pace. Retail sales and building permits fell in February, as did imports, but exports increased, widening the trade surplus.