Australian dollar falls at open

AAP, with a staff reporter

The Australian dollar fell at the open after heavy falls on Wall Street on Friday night.

At 0630 AEST on Monday, the Australian dollar was trading at 96.18 US cents, down from 96.41 cents on Friday.

The currency weakened on Friday night as the US stock market fell, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all dropping more than one per cent.

BK Asset Management managing director Kathy Lien said the dynamic changed in the US currency market on Friday night.

"Foreign exchange traders are in the midst of trying to figure out whether to buy or sell the dollar when stocks fall," Ms Lien said.

"For most of this week, lower stocks have meant a lower dollar as investors reduce exposure.

"However today that dynamic changed with the dollar rising against higher beta currencies such as the Euro, the British pound and the Australian and New Zealand dollars."

The fresh falls saw the Australian dollar continue its recent downward descent amid fresh data showing record unemployment in the eurozone and continued uncertainty about the outlook for United States stimulus.

At 0523 AEST Saturday morning, the Australian dollar was trading at 95.81 US cents, down from 96.41 US cents at 1700 AEST Friday and further down from Thursday's 96.73 US cents.

The Australian dollar was trading near the fresh two-year low of 95.37 US cents it reached earlier in the week. 

The fall on the Australian dollar on Friday capped off the currency's biggest monthly drop in a year, down from 103.84 US cents at the start of May.

CMC Markets foreign exchange dealer Tim Waterer said this week would be a key period for the Australian dollar because important pieces of economic data would be released.

They included Australian gross domestic product figures for the March quarter, on Wednesday, and US employment figures for May, on Friday night.

The Reserve Bank of Australia will hold its monthly board meeting on Tuesday and will decide whether to cut the cash rate again, although most economists expect the rate to remain on hold at its record low of 2.75 per cent.