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Australian Retail Sales Decline as Job Outlook Weakens: Economy

Australian retail sales unexpectedly fell in March and job advertisements dropped for a second month, sending the currency lower as traders see a 50-50 chance the central bank will resume cutting interest rates tomorrow.

Sales declined 0.4 percent to A$21.9 billion ($22.5 billion) from a month earlier, when they rose 1.3 percent, the Bureau of Statistics said in Sydney today. That was the first drop of the year and compared with economists’ estimates for a 0.1 percent gain. An Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. report showed help-wanted notices fell 1.3 percent in April.