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Australia’s economy grows in first quarter

Australia’s gross domestic product rose 1.8% from last quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis in the first three months of the year, according to official data released Wednesday. That compared against expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.5% increase.

“With 1.8% growth in the March quarter 2021, Australian economic activity has recovered to be above pre-pandemic levels and has grown 1.1% through the year,” Michael Smedes, head of national accounts at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, said in a media release. 

Following the data release, the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7755, stronger than levels below $0.772 seen earlier this week.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 89.898 — weaker than levels above 90 seen earlier this week.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.60 per dollar, stronger than levels around 109.6 seen against the greenback yesterday.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.26% to $70.43 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 0.22% to $67.87 per barrel.