Business confidence slips in March; Aussie dollar trading near four-month high: Midday Roundup

Business confidence has slipped in March to its lowest level post-election, with firms responding to ongoing sluggishness in business activity.

The latest NAB monthly business survey showed confidence remained positive, however it has softened to levels below its long-run trend.

Despite the fall in confidence, business conditions lifted slightly in March, while remaining at subdued levels.

“Nevertheless, most industries recorded an improvement in business conditions in the month, with the exception of transport and utilities and wholesale,” NAB says in a statement.

“Conditions facing wholesalers deteriorated heavily in March and are by far the weakest of all the industries covered in the survey.”

Aussie dollar trading near four-month high

The Australian dollar reached a record high of 93.08 US cents over the weekend, following a US payroll report which failed to meet expectations.

The dollar has since slipped back from its high point, trading at 92.75 US cents at 7am AEDT this morning.

March unemployment figures are due to be released on Thursday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and analysts believe a better-than-expected result could see the dollar back above 93 US cents.   

Shares drop on open

Aussie shares have opened lower this morning, as yesterday Wall Street lost over 1%.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 15 points to 5398.7 at 12:16pm AEDT. Overnight the Dow Jones closed 166.84 points lower, down 1.02% to 16,245.87.

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