The Australian dollar is up and about

Photo: Mark Kolbe / Getty Images.

The Aussie dollar is sharply higher after monthly retail sales data smashed expectations.

Australian retail sales in November rose by 1.2%, easily beating expectations of a 0.4% rise.

Currency traders responded by immediately driving the Aussie up to 0.7870 US cents from 0.7840 US cents.

There was a brief pullback, but a short time ago the Aussie was continuing to find buyers.

Here’s the price action on a five-minute chart, via Investing.com.

According to the ABS, the sharp rise in November retail sales was driven by the release of the iPhone X and promotions for Black Friday sales.

At current levels, the AUD is trading at a three-month high. It’s gained around 5% against the greenback in the last month, amid broader US dollar weakness over the Christmas and New Year period.

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