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TheStreet Open House

Australian Dollar Gains on Commodities

Stocks in this article: ABX NEM KGC GG PAL SCCO FCX


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The Australian dollar was surpassing the U.S. dollar and more than two dozen other currencies as commodities climbed higher in morning trading.

The Australian dollar was the top currencies performer, up 1.7% against the U.S. dollar at $1.0761, after the nation's central bank forecast that consumer prices in 2011 will rise to 3.25%, up from the previous forecast of 3%, and that core inflation will rise to 3%, instead of 2.75%. The Reserve Bank of Australia indicated the potential for more interest rates hikes if it failed to keep inflation within the 2% to 3% target range.

The rebound in commodities Friday, which tanked the previous day after a disappointing jobs report, gave Aussie dollar bulls a boost of confidence in their long positions in this commodity currency. The Australian dollar's commodity currency status comes from the strong ties of the Australian economy to the metals and mining industry.

July copper futures were rising 1.2% to $4.047 a pound and the June gold contract was rising 0.7% to $1,491.70 an ounce Friday morning. Palladium for June delivery was up 2.3% to $727.25 an ounce. Copper producer Freeport-McMoRan (FCX - Get Report) was rising 3.1% to $51.38 and peer Southern Copper (SCCO - Get Report) was up 0.8% to $35.48. Palladium miner North American Palladium (PAL - Get Report) was up 3.8% to $5.76.

FXDD Chief Currency Analyst Greg Michalowski says comparing the intermarket relationship of trades in commodity currencies such as the Australian dollar, New Zealand dollar and Canadian dollar against how commodities such as copper are moving is a useful secondary tool to provide retail traders with more confidence in their positions.

For instance, "if you see a trend line being broken in the Aussie vs. U.S. dollar, that says commodity prices should be going down," says Michalowski. "Now, you look at commodity prices like copper -- are they going down? Yes. Are they breaking a trend line? Yes. And now you have the commodity traders and Aussie vs. U.S. dollar traders focusing on the same technicals -- maybe the same fundamentals news as well."

The U.S. dollar was extending gains against the euro, up 0.1% to EUR 0.68874 after a better-than-expected jobs report Friday, with the Labor Department reporting that nonfarm payroll employment rose by 244,000 in April compared with 221,000 in March. Economists were, on average, expecting a rise of 185,000, according to Briefing.com.

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