The Australian dollar moved up against its major rivals during the Asian session on Thursday, as China's factory and service sector activities expanded in December, while the Covid vaccine developments and the approval of the Brexit deal by the U.K. Parliament supported demand for riskier assets.

Survey data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that China's manufacturing sector growth moderated at the end of the year.

The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 51.9 from 52.1 in November.

The score was forecast to drop marginally to 52.0. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

The non-manufacturing PMI that measures sentiment in the services and construction sectors declined to 55.7 in December from 56.4 a month ago.

The widening rollout of vaccines in several countries spurred hopes of a global economic recovery next year.

The passage of the $2.3 trillion stimulus package in the U.S. and prospects for additional stimulus in the near future also lifted sentiment.

The aussie climbed to 0.9820 against the loonie, its highest level since June 2018. On the upside, 1.00 is possibly seen as its next resistance level.

Breaking the key 0.77 level, the aussie firmed to a 2-1/2-year high of 0.7709 against the greenback. The aussie is seen finding resistance around the 0.82 level.

The aussie hit a 1-1/2-year peak of 79.48 against the yen from Wednesday's close of 79.27. The next possible resistance for the aussie is seen around the 82.00 level.

The aussie rallied to the strongest level since September 2019 versus the euro, at 1.5949. If the aussie rises further, 1.56 is seen as its next resistance level.

The aussie rebounded to 1.0669 against the kiwi, from a low of 1.0650 hit at 8:00 pm ET. The aussie is likely to find resistance around the 1.09 level.

Looking ahead, the U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended December 26 will be featured in the New York session.

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