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Australian Retail Stagnates as Trade Deficit Blows Out to Record

Australian retail sales stagnated and the nation’s trade deficit blew out to a record in April, in a challenge to a central bank trying to spur an economic recovery.

The currency slumped half a U.S. cent as sales were little changed from a month earlier, when they rose a downwardly revised 0.2 percent, and were less than the forecast 0.3 percent gain, data showed Thursday. The trade gap widened to A$3.89 billion ($3 billion), surpassing the previous record in February 2008, as storms shut coal ports and limited shipments.