AUD/USD trades higher following upbeat Australian building approvals data

Australian dollar edged higher against its US counterpart on Thursday, as building approvals in Australia considerably outstripped forecasts and despite that the greenback received support after FOMC policy decision.

AUD/USD touched a session high at 0.9508 at 0:45 GMT, after which consolidation followed at 0.9502, gaining 0.19% for the day. Support was likely to be received at October 13th low, 0.9426, while resistance was to be met at October 29th high, 0.9547.

Earlier on Thursday it became clear that the number of building approvals in Australia climbed 14.4% in September on a monthly basis, significantly exceeding projections of a 2.8% gain, after the number of permits fell 1.6% a month ago. Annually, building approvals rose 18.6% in September, following another 11.1% gain in August.

In addition, lending to private sector companies in the country expanded 0.3% in September compared to August, retaining the rate showed a month ago, while in annual terms, lending increased 3.3% in September, after a 3.4% rise in August. Preliminary estimates pointed that private sector lending will keep the annual pace of expansion also in September.

Australian index of import prices was reported to have advanced 6.1% in Q3 compared to Q2, exceeding the projected climb rate of 3.5%. At the same time, the index of export prices rose 4.2% during the third quarter of the year, again outperforming preliminary estimates of a 3.3% gain. Both indexes fell 0.3% during the second quarter of the year.

Meanwhile, US dollar received support after the Federal Reserve Bank decided to maintain the current pace of its asset purchases at its policy meeting yesterday, as widely anticipated, because more evidence of an improving economic activity was to be obtained. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke continued to press with the unprecedented accommodative policy into the final months of his mandate, as he strives to safeguard economic expansion achieved in four years from the impact of October’s partial government shutdown.

The central bank left without change its statement that it will probably maintain the benchmark interest rate close to zero at least as long as the rate of unemployment in the country is above 6.5% and as the inflation outlook is not exceeding 2.5%. Fed’s monthly purchases will remain divided between 40 billion USD of mortgage bonds and 45 billion USD in Treasury securities.

The weekly report on initial jobless claims in the United States will probably show that the number of claims fell to 338 000 during the week ending on October 26th, from 350 000 during the previous week, according to a Bloomberg survey. The Labor Department will release the official figures later in the day.

Elsewhere, the Aussie was higher against the euro, with EUR/AUD cross falling 0.46% on a daily basis to trade at 1.4425 at 8:07 GMT. AUD/NZD pair was gaining 0.17% to trade at 1.1496 at 8:15 GMT.

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