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Australian Dollar buoyed on RBA Position

Australia’s Reserve Bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged today at the historic low of 3%, which helped to shore up the Australian Dollar, following investor profit-taking on recent gains. Versus the Japanese Yen and the U.S. Dollar, the Australian Dollar was able to hold onto a near 7-month high, trading at $0.7427 in early morning trading, and 73.16 Yen, respectively. Analysts believe that policymakers at the RBA are taking a more cautious approach, waiting to analyze data trends.

Investors are also anxiously awaiting the outcome of the U.S. banking system stress tests; recent news that nearly a dozen American banks would probably need additional capital precipitated investor caution into an already somewhat illiquid market, given the continuing Japanese holidays. Official results are expected to be released on Thursday, May 7, 2009.

Investors in Asia are concerned that recent gains are becoming stretched too thinly, and spurred profit taking as a precaution. As reported at 3:31 p.m. (JST) in Tokyo, the single currency Euro dropped .3%, trading at $1.3383 on the EBS platform; earlier in the day it had traded at $1.3439, the highest in almost a month. The U.S. Dollar remained flat at 98.83 Yen, falling from a 2-week high of 99.57 reported yesterday.

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