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Australia, NZ dollars near 10-month peaks on China, commodities
[SYDNEY] The Australian and New Zealand dollars flirted with 10-month peaks on Wednesday, after upbeat Chinese export data and a rally in commodity prices underpinned appetite for risk assets.
The Australian dollar stood at US$0.7710, having powered up 1.1 per cent on Tuesday and nearing the 2016 peak of US$0.7723 set a few weeks ago. "The Aussie dollar has been on fire overnight with traders taking cues from firming global equities and commodities prices," said Stephen Innes, senior trader at FX and CFD firm OANDA Australia and Asia Pacific.
It inched up further after March Chinese exports leapt 11.5 per cent year-on-year, easing concerns about the strength of the economy.
The Aussie had already been buoyed by a near 5 per cent rise in price of iron ore, Australia's top export earner, the second straight session of hefty gains.
The bullish mode was enhanced by the yen retreating after recent sharp gains.
The Aussie rose to 83.90 yen, having jumped 1.7 per cent on Tuesday when key resistance of near 83 gave way and forced investors to cover short positions. It has bounced 3 yen since hitting a low last week.
Likewise, the New Zealand dollar climbed to 75.50 yen to be up nearly 3 per cent in as many sessions. It touched 73.16 last week, a level unseen since August last year.
The Antipodean currencies stood tall against the euro. The common currency dropped to a three-week low of A$1.4735 , away from A$1.5199 touched on Thursday.
The New Zealand dollar rose to US$0.6945, from US$0.6852 the previous day. Resistance was seen at around US$0.6970.
Local data showed food prices, one of the components of the consumer price index (CPI), rose 0.5 per cent last quarter as expected.
That reinforced expectations headline inflation, due out next week, would again likely undershoot Reserve Bank of New Zealand forecasts. If so, that would narrow the odds of another cut in interest rates when the central bank meets later this month.
New Zealand government bonds eased, sending yields 5 basis points higher.
Australian government bond futures fell, with the three-year bond contract off 4 ticks at 98.120. The 10-year contract dropped 6 ticks to 97.4800, while the 20-year contract shed 4.5 ticks to 96.9000.