The Australian and New Zealand dollars moved higher against their U.S. counterpart on Thursday, after upbeat Australian economic reports and as investors began to focus on Friday’s highly-anticipated U.S. employment data.
AUD/USD gained 0.66% to 0.7505.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics said retail sales rose by 0.4% in March, beating expectations for a 0.3% gain, after an uptick of 0.1% in February.
Data also showed that Australia’s trade deficit narrowed to A $2.163 billion in March from A$3.044 billion in February, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated deficit of A$3.410 billion.
Analysts had expected the trade deficit to narrow to A $2.900 billion in March.
In other news, Australia Treasurer Scott Morrison said in a statement on Thursday that Philip Lowe will be replacing Glenn Stevens as governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia for a seven-year term on September 18.
Lowe had been serving as RBA deputy governor since early 2012.
NZD/USD rose 0.35% to trade at 0.6905.
Market participants were looking to Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls data after payroll processing firm ADP said on Wednesday that non-farm private employment rose by 156,000 last month, missing expectations for an increase of 196,000.
The weak data was offset however by data showing that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $40.44 billion in March from $46.96 billion in February.
In addition, the Institute of Supply Management said its non-manufacturing purchasing manager’s index improved to a four-month high of 55.7 last month from 54.5 in March.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 93.20.