Australian Dollar Falls

The Australian dollar fell before a government report that economists said will show home-loan approvals declined for a second month in March, signaling two interest-rate increases this year are slowing the economy., Bloomberg 5/11/2008 6:46:55 PM

The currency also weakened before National Australia Bank Ltd. releases its business confidence survey for April. ``Evidence is accumulating'' that growth in demand will slow this year, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens said last week as he kept interest rates unchanged at a 12-year high.

The Australian dollar bought 94.07 U.S. cents at 9:44 a.m. in Sydney compared with 94.35 cents late in New York trading on May 9. It traded at 96.65 yen from 97.03 late last week when it reached 96.32 yen, the lowest since April 29.

The number of loans granted to people to build or buy homes or apartments declined 0.8 percent from February, when they fell 5.9 percent, according to the median estimate of 20 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The Bureau of Statistics will release the report at 11:30 a.m. in Sydney.

Futures traders are betting the Australian dollar will gain against the U.S. currency in the biggest numbers since July, figures from the Washington-based Commodity Futures Trading Commission show. The figures are sometimes used as a contrary indicator.

Australian Dollar Falls