SYDNEY, Aug 20 (Reuters)The Australian dollar stepped back from a recent 1-1/2 year high on Thursday against a resurgent greenback after the U.S. Federal Reserve wrong-footed dollar bears by staying silent on its policy outlook.

The Australian dollar AUD=D4, which had hit an 18-month high of $0.7275 before the Fed meeting minutes were released, stumbled back below 72 cents and was last at $0.7173.

The Aussie has surged in recent weeks as expansionary central bank policies around the world have boosted investor appetite for risk while commodity prices have also risen.

Australia, meanwhile, has managed the coronavirus pandemic better than other countries, further boosting sentiment for the nation’s financial assets.

Analysts generally expect the Australian currency to stay well bid with the Fed still seen dovish even though minutes from its latest monetary policy meeting steered clear of spelling out its policy strategy.

“The (Fed) minutes did

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