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Australia, NZ dollars off multi-month lows, still vulnerable
[SYDNEY] The Australian and New Zealand dollars were pinned near multi-month lows on Wednesday after upbeat US economic data supported the US currency and underscored the risk of more tightening by the Federal Reserve.
The Australian dollar held at US$0.7192, away from a seven-month trough of US$0.7160 touched last week. Immediate support was found at US$0.7185.
The New Zealand dollar stood at US$0.6900, having plumbed US$0.6863 on Friday, a level unseen since June.
The US currency has been on a roll since Donald Trump won the US Presidential election, sending Treasury yields soaring on expectations of stronger US growth and inflation. Since then, the Aussie has shed around six cents, while the kiwi dropped five cents.
The Aussie is set to end the year down 1.3 per cent, its fourth straight year of losses.
In comparison, the kiwi is seen ending on an annual gain of one per cent, having found support from a string of upbeat economic data at home.
Figures last week showed New Zealand's third-quarter up 3.5 per cent year on year, putting it among the rich world's fastest-growing nations.
Also helping the kiwi was a recovery in prices of dairy, New Zealand's top export earner.
New Zealand government bonds eased, sending yields about one basis points higher. Ten year yields rose to 3.49 per cent, the highest in nearly a year.
Australian government bond futures dropped to one-year lows, with the three-year bond contract off two ticks at 97.850. The 10-year contract eased half a tick to 97.0850, while the 20-year contract was steady at 96.4250.