The Australian dollar just logged its largest monthly gain since October 2011

Photo: George Marks/Retrofile/Getty.

The Australian dollar ended a strong quarter with a whimper, falling slightly against the US dollar before tonight’s US jobs report for March.

Earlier in the session it rose to as high as .7721 — a fresh nine-month high — before succumbing to profit-taking.

Despite the overnight weakness, the Aussie had a good quarter and an even better March, buoyed by a rebound in commodity prices, improved risk sentiment, a reduction in market volatility and reduced expectations for US rate hikes in the year ahead.

Here’s a chart tracking its performance against not only the US dollar but other major currencies. At 7.23%, the gain against the US dollar was the largest in percentage terms since October 2011.

Being the start of the month, there’s a raft of economic data that has the potential to create short term volatility in the Aussie today, particularly from China and the US.

Later today, China’s March manufacturing PMI is released (12pm AEDT) ahead of US March non-farm payrolls (11.30pm AEDT),” said Richard Grace, chief currency strategist at the CBA.

“We expect a modest improvement in China’s PMI after the Chinese Lunar New Year. An improvement in the China PMI and softer US wage growth would boost the AUD into the end of the week.”

Aside from China PMI and US payrolls, markets will also receive manufacturing PMI reads from Australia, Asia, Europe and the US along with the quarterly Tankan business sentiment report from Japan.

It promises to be a busy session ahead, not only for the Aussie but markets as a whole.

Here’s the current Australian dollar scoreboard in early Asian trade on Friday (8.15am AEDT).

  • AUD/USD 0.7653 , -0.0001 , -0.01%
  • AUD/JPY 86.15 , 0.00 , 0.00%
  • AUD/CNH 4.9441 , -0.003 , -0.06%
  • AUD/EUR 0.6723 , -0.0002 , -0.03%
  • AUD/GBP 0.5327 , -0.0001 , -0.02%
  • AUD/NZD 1.1075 , 0.0008 , 0.07%

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