Aussie Dollar Plunges To 9-Month Low

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The double whammy of a stronger dollar and weak Chinese trade data weighed on copper and Australia’s currency, with most Asian index futures foreshadowing declines after U.S. payrolls data bolstered prospects of an interest-rate increase this year.

Both the Aussie and New Zealand’s dollar were near one-month lows as the biggest increase in U.S. employment this year underpinned the greenback. Copper futures fell a fourth day after Chinese trade slumped more than analysts anticipated, stoking bets that regulators there will have to expand economic stimulus.

While Australian stocks opened lower and futures signaled losses from Hong Kong to Seoul, Japanese contracts climbed with the yen at an 11-week low. Oil and gold were steady after tumbling on Friday.

Odds on the Federal Reserve hiking benchmark rates at its next meeting in December jumped to 68 percent after the payrolls data signaled the U.S. labor market is on a solid footing.

The report vindicated rhetoric from Fed officials, who had been working to reintroduce the prospect of a 2015 rate increase after citing lackluster inflation and concern over China’s slowdown for their inaction in September and October. Data on Chinese consumer prices to retail sales this week set will help investors get a handle on Asia’s largest economy, and color speculation on the outlook for further easing.

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