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Australian trade deficit shrinks; house price index jumps

The Australian trade deficit came lower-than-expected at AUD -427 million VS AUD -800 million expected. Surprising was the reduction in imports, down 6% in December vs a +2% rise the previous month. Meanwhile, exports rose by 3% vs 1% in November. In parallel, Australia's house price index was also published, showing a 1.6% rise in the December quarter, a number stronger-than-the flat consensus. Sydney, Perth and Darwin topped the climbers.

Forex: AUD/USD above 1.0450 on better data

AUD/USD has just spiked to session and fresh 3-day highs at 1.0453, and rising, once Aus trade balance figures are out showing a smaller deficit than expected at -0.43B vs -0.81B, coming from a previous of -2.79B, though still in the negative since a year ago. HIA house price index has also showed a better than expected figure at +1.6% vs +0.0%, coming from a +0.3% from previous quarter. These numbers add to the case for RBA leaving rates unchanged later on at 03:30 GMT.
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