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Australia, NZ dollars muted on China concerns; data eyed
[SYDNEY] The Australian and New Zealand dollars were subdued on Monday following on from last week's disappointing economic data from China, a key trading partner for both countries.
There were also concerns over future investment flows from the Asian giant after the Australian government's decision last week to block the sale of its electricity network to two Chinese bidders.
The Australian dollar was unchanged at US$0.7643, having slipped 0.7 per cent on Friday, though that was still not far from a 3-1/2 month high of US$0.7765 hit last week.
Analysts expect the Aussie to trade within a US$0.7545-US$0.7755 band this week.
"AUD may struggle a bit, but with little reason at this stage to suggest much deeper corrections lower," said Ray Attrill, co-head of forex strategy at National Australia Bank.
"Concerns over future China FDI inflows to Australia after last Thursday's Ausgrid ruling and China's public reaction, can weigh on sentiment."
Closer to home, investors will watch out for the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) August meeting minutes on Tuesday for further clues about its monetary policy outlook.
Earlier this month, the RBA slashed official cash rates by a quarter point to defend the economy against creeping deflation.
The futures market is placing a 50-50 chance of another rate cut by Christmas. Wage data due on Wednesday and jobs numbers the day after will also shape market expectations.
The New Zealand dollar was trading down 0.2 per cent at US$0.7192 on Monday as risk trades were reduced in the wake of weak US and China data, said Stuart Ive, private client manager at OM Financial.
He said a raft of domestic and global data will be key for the New Zealand dollar this week, including employment, a global dairy auction and a reading on US inflation.
He expects the Kiwi to hover around the US$0.7200 mark ahead of those events.
New Zealand government bonds gained, sending yields 3.5 basis points lower across the curve.
Australian government bond futures were also higher, with the three-year bond contract up one tick at 98.62. The 10-year contract rose 1.5 ticks to 98.095.