The AAA-rated Australian dollar is not big enough to stand as a safe-haven currency, but it saw its fair share of inflow last week as investors abandoned the euro in fear of a default by Greece. Investors must have been buying it at least partly for its safety qualities because some of the Australian economic data were quite discouraging.
The AIG's performance of construction index showed even more of a slowdown in the sector, falling another four points to a dismal 32.1. Employment, which should have gone up by 10k in August, instead fell by nearly that many.
On a positive note, Australian gross domestic product rebounded by 1.2% in the second quarter after a rain-soaked first three months. The main drivers were iron ore and coal production, while domestic demand grew more slowly. The Reserve Bank of Australia held its overnight cash rate steady at 4.75% and offered no hints as to future direction.