A$ Rising - from ABC Online

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    There has been little to rock the boat on global financial markets overnight but in relatively quiet trade, the US dollar has continued to exhibit underlying weakness losing a little more ground against the euro and the yen.

    That has helped the Australian dollar nudge higher and record a new 17-month peak in New York trade.

    With a firm gold price possibly lending support as well, the local dollar has been up to 56.62 US cents.

    At about 7:00am (AEST), it was being quoted at 56.41 US cents, a touch below the levels of yesterday's local close.

    On the cross-rates, it is at 0.6017 euros, 69.59 yen, 38.49 pence and $NZ1.187.

    US markets

    On Wall Street, a drop in oil prices has undermined energy stocks while the conflict between Pakistan and India is also cited as a cause for concern among US investors.

    On the New York Stock Exchange, prices are just marginally lower.

    The Dow Jones industrial average has finished the session 11 points behind at 9,912.

    The high-tech Nasdaq composite index has added 7.5 points to 1,632 after three days of decline.

    British market

    The British share market has been led lower by pharmaceutical and telecommunications stocks.

    London's FT-100 index has closed 42 points down at 5,040.

    Australian market

    Yesterday, the Australian share market edged just a little higher in essentially directionless trade.

    Major resource companies, Rio Tinto, and BHP Billiton, gained ground.

    But News Corporation fell 19 cents to $13.28.

    Telstra continues to languish, slipping 1 cent to $4.74.

    The All Ordinaries index rose 5 points to 3,339.

    In overnight trade on the Sydney Futures Exchange, the Share Price Index 200 contract has closed down 9 points on yesterday's day settlement at 3,365.

    The 10-year bond contract is up 4.5 points at 93.82 with the implied yield easing to 6.18 per cent.

    The price of gold is still sitting at around $US325 an ounce.

    West Texas crude has slipped to around $US24.78 a barrel.

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