Aussie dollar slips on ecb stimulus

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THE Australian dollar has slipped against its US counterpart with the greenback rising after the European Central Bank extended its quantitative easing program by nine months.

At 0730 AEDT on Friday, the local unit was trading at 74.59 US cents, down from 74.89 cents on Thursday.

The ECB said it would cut its asset purchases to 60 billion euros per month from next April from the 80 billion euros, but extended the stimulus by a longer- than-expected nine months to the end of next year.

Westpac senior market strategist Imre Speizer said the gains in the greenback and equities had hurt the Australian and New Zealand dollars. The US dollars rebound overnight puts the Aussie dollar back in a neutral state near-term, in a 74.00 to 75.00 (US cents) range, he said in a note. The local currency was steady against the yen, but rose sharply against the euro, which weakened against most currencies after the ECB announcement.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 0730 AEDT ON FRIDAY

One Australian dollar buys:

* 74.59 US cents, from 74.89 cents on Thursday

* 85.02 Japanese yen, from 85.06 yen

* 70.26 euro cents, from 69.53 euro cents

* 59.26 British pence, from 59.22 pence

* 103.98 New Zealand cents, from 104.01 NZ cents

(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEST previous local session)

Source: IRESS