$A higher ahead of Bernanke speech

The Australian dollar is slightly higher ahead of a speech by US Federal Reserve chairman Dr Ben Bernanke.

At 0700 AEDT on Tuesday, the currency was trading at 105.64 US cents, up from 105.56 US cents on Monday afternoon.

Westpac New Zealand senior market strategist Imre Speizer said the currency traded in a tight range of between 105.48 US cents and 105.79 US cents overnight.

"It was a fairly tight range overnight. There wasn't any data of importance to push markets around," he said.

He said markets were waiting to hear from Dr Bernanke, who is due to speak on Tuesday morning (Australian time).

Dr Bernanke is expected to provide further insight into the Fed's stimulus plans, amid speculation the central bank could end its fourth round of quantitative easing (QE4) as early as this year.

"It's an opportunity for him to, maybe, support the idea that this QE4 program will last at least until the year, if not longer," Mr Speizer said.

"If he talks along those lines, I think you will get a bit of support for the Aussie."

Mr Speizer said the Australian dollar would move towards 106 US cents if markets responded positively to Dr Bernanke's speech but could fall back towards 105.20 US cents if the reaction was negative.

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