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The Australian dollar was the worst-performing major currency on Tuesday in Asia following the release of weak retail sales data.

Other major currencies, though, were fractionally higher against the US dollar.

Data showed retail sales in Australia fell 0.1 per cent month-on-month in March. This was weaker than expectations for 0.3 per cent growth, and February’s drop was revised even lower to minus 0.2 per cent.

In response, the dollarydoo was down 0.2 per cent at a four-month low of $0.7369.

Kate Hickie at Capital Economics said the retail sales figures will add to growing concerns about the health of the household sector. She continued:

In particular, the much weaker than expected rise in real retail sales in the first quarter suggests that real consumption growth eased notably last quarter. And the outright fall in nominal retail sales in March means there wasn’t any momentum in spending going into the second quarter either.

The Japanese yen was fractionally higher at ¥113.21 per dollar.

The dollar index, a measure of the US currency against a basket of peers, was up 0.1 per cent at 99.107.

The euro was up less than 0.1 per cent in Asia at $1.0928 after dropping by 0.7 per cent on Monday from a six-month high in the wake of France’s election result.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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