Worker in Australian sheet metal factory
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Australia's strong currency starts to bite

Over the past month Asian markets have been rattled by fears of an early end to years of the US Federal Reserve's monetary stimulus.

It has brought renewed uncertainty and volatility to currencies in Asia. So, all this week we are putting currencies in focus - to examine how their shifting values have impacted economies in the region.

We kick off with Australia, where the country's new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has pledged to rebuild the government's relations with business.

It comes after job losses in recent months, blamed by industry on the country's strong domestic currency that made it difficult to stay competitive.

From Sydney, Phil Mercer reports on manufacturers trying to cope with a high valued currency.