The Australian dollar is almost half a US cent higher on improved consumer sentiment and weakness in the greenback.

The currency was trading at $US1.0452, up from $US1.0407 yesterday.

ANZ foreign exchange strategist Andrew Salter said the currency had received a boost from news domestic consumer sentiment had risen to its highest point in 19 months.

The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment for November, released on Wednesday, rose 5.2 per cent to an index level of 1.043 - its highest point since April 2011.

A reading above 100 indicates more consumers are more optimistic than pessimistic about the economy and it was the first time in 14 months the survey has been in positive territory.

However, Mr Salter said weakness in the US dollar had also contributed to the rally in the Australian currency.

‘‘The US dollar has been under moderate pressure and I get the sense that this is just a move to take profit in the US dollar,’’ he said.

Mr Salter said international events, including the release of US retail data were likely to drive the currency’s movements overnight and into Thursday.

But he said concerns about the so called ‘fiscal cliff’ of tax increases and spending cuts due to come into effect in the US in early 2013, were likely to weigh on the currency over the next few weeks.

If re-elected President Barack Obama and the Republican controlled House of Representatives cannot find an alternative solution to bring down the country’s debt it is feared the fiscal cliff measures could send the US back into recession.

AAP