The number of Australian new home loan approvals fell significantly more-than-expected in January, official data showed on Wednesday.
In a report the Australian Bureau of Statistics said the number of home loans granted fell by a seasonally adjusted 4.5% in January, after rising by 2.1% in December.
Analysts had expected the number of home loans granted to fall by 0.3% in January.
The report said that the total value of loans fell by 5.3% in January, decreasing to AUD20.2 billion, compared to AUD20.9 billion in December.
Following the release of the data, the Australian dollar was down against its U.S. counterpart, with AUD/USD shedding 0.12% to hit 1.0085.