The Australian dollar surged higher today after a record trade surplus, which seemed to kill of any chance that the local economy was headed for recession any time soon.
At 6.39pm (GMT) the Aussie dollar was trading at US76.69c up from US75.82c in yesterday’s close.
Official data released earlier today showed a trade surplus of A$3.51 billion for the month of December, well above analysts’ expectations for a figure of A$2.2 billion.
The new may be attributed to recent gains in commodity prices and especially iron ore, Australia’s biggest export
"A record trade surplus shows that the surge in commodity prices is boosting nominal GDP," said Paul Dales, chief economist at Capital Economics.
“The most recent increases in the volume of exports implies that real GDP in the fourth quarter of last year at least may prove to be a bit stronger than we had thought." he added
The Australian dollar also brushed off disappointing real estate data today with the release of the new home building approvals figure, which fell 1.2 percent and may be a sign that the property sector is beginning to cool off,
"After housing activity rose consecutively for four years, its longest ever boom, we now think that it has probably already peaked at over 6% of nominal GDP," said George Tharenou, an economist at UBS.
The market is still entertaining the idea of an interest rate cut from the Reserve Bank of Australia later in the year but with a record trade surplus and weaker real estate data this question may have just been put to bed.