Sydney– Australian retail sales rose by less than economists expected in April, despite heavy interest rate cuts over the last year. Retail sales rose 0.2% in April from a month earlier, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Monday, compared with the 0.3% rise expected by economists. Sales for March were unrevised at a fall of 0.4%. Western Australia, a mining-focused state, recorded among the biggest falls in retails sales on month, of 0.8%. New South Wales recorded among the biggest increases, at 0.6%.
The Australian Dollar shrugged the news off, trading 10 points either side of .9615. Japanese and Hong Kong shares are trading higher with the Hang Seng Index up 0.4%. Dollar Yen has risen approximately 40 points from it 100.35 session low, while Euro and GBP have been contained to a 30 point range.