The Aussie fell on Tuesday despite after mixed Chinese trade data that did better than expected on imports and despite strong business survey results last month.
In China, key trade data for November showed a 6.8% drop in exports, more than the 5.0% decline seen, and imports down 8.7%, less than the 12.6% drop expected, The overall surplus came in at $54.10 billion, compared to an expected $63.30 billion.
Earlier, in Japan, bank lending rose 2.3% as expected year-on-year in November, while the current account for October came in at a surplus of ¥1.458 trillion, slightly narrower than the expected ¥1.659 trillion surplus.
Also in Japan, third quarter GDP slumped 0.8% year-on-year compared to a 0.2% fall seen and fell 0.2% quarter-on-quarter compared to a 0.1% drop expected.
In Australia, the NAB business confidence survey rose to 5 in November from 2 in the previous month, while the business survey rose to 10 from 9.
“This is basically another strong result for the NAB survey which, in conjunction with signs of improvement in the labor market, means we can put more faith in the building non-mining sector recovery,” NAB chief economist Alan Oster said.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.13% at 98.60.
Overnight, the dollar remained broadly higher against the other major currencies in quiet trade on Monday, as Friday’s strong U.S. jobs data continued to fuel expectations for a December rate hike by the Federal Reserve, supporting demand for the greenback.
The dollar strengthened broadly after the Labor Department reported on Friday that the U.S. economy added 211,000 jobs last month, after increasing an upwardly revised 298,000 in October. The unemployment rate held steady at 5% in November. Economists had forecast jobs growth of 200,000 and no change in the unemployment rate.
The report hardened expectations that the Fed will hike interest rates for the first time since 2006 at its upcoming meeting on December 15-16. Higher U.S. interest rates would make the dollar more attractive to yield-seeking investors.