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Australian dollar slips, shrugging strong sales data

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SYDNEY, Dec 22 Reuters The Australian dollar was lower against the greenback in a lowvolume session on Tuesday, shrugging strong retail sales data as a new strain of COVID19 weighs on market sentiment ahead of the Christmas holiday long weekend.

The Aussie was 19 basis points lower at 0.7572 in Asia trading, following a roller coaster session on Monday that saw it recover after falling over 2 to close at 0.7587, as concerns about a new coronavirus strain hit riskier assets.

The kiwi was also lower at 0.7078 on Tuesday, after closing at 0.7096 the previous session.

Despite recent declines, both currencies are on track for their second consecutive month of gains, rallying in recent weeks as the prospect of a vaccinefuelled global recovery next year boosted risk assets and toppled the safehaven U.S. dollar.

Doesnt matter where you look at, everything just had an extreme move to the top side over the last couple of months, said Steven Dooley, APAC currency strategist at Western Union Business Solutions.

That creates the conditions where we can see investors taking profits or more of a selloff over the next couple of days.

Both currencies had also been buoyed by the outperformance of their domestic economies, where the coronavirus has been mostly contained, and the broad strength of global commodity prices.

But fears that a highly infectious new strain of COVID19 that shut down much of Britain could lead to a slower global economic recovery is triggering losses…

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