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Australia's August trade deficit widens to A$3.1B

Australia's trade deficit widened in August to 3.1 billion Australian dollars, data released by the country's statistics bureau showed.

A Reuters poll had forecast a deficit of 2.4 billion Australian dollars, and the number came after a 2.8 billion Australian dollar deficit in July.

Total exports came in at 26.5 billion Australian dollars and total imports at 29.6 billion Australian dollars.

The Australian dollar slipped to $0.7078, from $0.7093 prior to the trade data release.

The Reserve Bank of Australia will make its monthly monetary policy announcement at 11.30am SIN/HK. The central bank is expected to keep rates unchanged at 2.0 percent.

Only one third of 25 economists polled by Reuters forecast more easing in the medium term, but future debt markets are fully priced for a cut early next year.

Currency dealers said if the RBA were to reinstate an easing bias, as expected by some investors, the Aussie could drop below 70 cents. Should the statement be similar to the September review, however, the local dollar could test the September 22 peak of $0.7159.

- Reuters contributed to this report.