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Australia, NZ dlrs off peaks after facing chart resistance

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The Australian and New Zealand dollars on Friday ran into heavy chart resistance that interrupted rallies which took them to multi-month highs, though both currencies were still on track for weekly gains.

[SYDNEY] The Australian and New Zealand dollars on Friday ran into heavy chart resistance that interrupted rallies which took them to multi-month highs, though both currencies were still on track for weekly gains.

The Australian dollar edged up to US$0.7754, from US$0.7736 early. On Wednesday, it climbed to an 11-month peak of US$0.7830.

Traders said a wall of resistance towards US$0.7850 proved too much for the Aussie. A break above would target a run to 80 US cents, then the May 2015 peak of US$0.8164.

The Aussie is up nearly one cent this week, bringing this year's gains to 6.5 per cent.

The Aussie was poised to post a weekly increase of more than 1 per cent against the yen and Swiss franc.

Driving the squeeze higher was upbeat sentiment about oil, which was poised for its biggest weekly increase so far this year.

Also underpinning was a rousing recovery in iron ore, Australia's single biggest export earner, which hit 10-month highs amid a jump in steel prices in China.

Across the Tasman sea, the New Zealand dollar was on track for a 0.2 per cent gain on the week. It stood at US$0.6916, from a 10-month peak of US$0.7055.

Stuart Ive, a senior dealer at OMF, said a failure to push through trend resistance at US$0.7050 likely triggered profit-taking ahead of next week's "mega Thursday" when central banks in New Zealand, the United States and Japan hold policy reviews.

Most economists still expect the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to remain on hold at 2.25 per cent, although some are calling for a cut. Overnight Interest Swap markets are pricing a one-in-three chance of a cut and are fully priced by August.

New Zealand government bonds eased, sending yields 2 basis points higher across the curve.

Australian government bond futures eased, with the three-year bond contract off 2 ticks at 97.980. The 10-year contract also shed 2 ticks to 97.3900, while the 20-year contract was unchanged at 96.8300.

REUTERS