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Australian Dollar Rises on Trade Deal Hope; Fed Keeps Rates Unchanged

Investing.com - The Australian dollar rose on Thursday in Asia on positive news around the Sino-U.S. trade negotiations while the U.S. dollar edged down after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged.

The AUD/USD dollar rose 0.2% to 0.7025 by 11:20 PM (03:20 GMT). The Australian AIG (NYSE:AIG) manufacturing index improved to 54.8, outperformed the expected 51.0 and pointed to an expansion in the manufacturing sector.

A report by CNBC that suggested that the U.S. and China may announce a trade deal by next Friday also lifted the Australian dollar. Officials from both sides wrapped up the latest round of negotiations in Beijing on Wednesday. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will travel to Washington for more talks next week.

China is Australia’s largest trading partner.

The New Zealand dollar rebounded 0.2% to 0.6635 after falling half a percent earlier in the day as data showed employment unexpectedly fell in the March quarter.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a currency basket slipped 0.1% to 97.343 after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell cooled investor expectations for a rate cut.

“We do think our policy stance is appropriate right now. We don’t see a strong case for moving in either direction,” Powell said during a news conference after the central bank’s policy meeting. The Federal Open Market Committee left its overnight funds rate in a range of 2.25% to 2.5% as expected.

"On a 12-month basis, overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy have declined and are running below 2 percent," the Fed said in in its statement.

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