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Australia, NZ dollar bulls pin hopes on Britain staying in EU

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The Australian and New Zealand dollars stayed firm on Thursday, with the kiwi a whisker short of a one-year peak, on optimism that Britain will stay in the European Union.

[SYDNEY] The Australian and New Zealand dollars stayed firm on Thursday, with the kiwi a whisker short of a one-year peak, on optimism that Britain will stay in the European Union.

Just hours before UK voters begin to cast their votes in a historic EU membership referendum, two opinion polls showed the "Remain" camp ahead of the "Leave" camp.

The Australian dollar was last trading 0.2 per cent higher at US$0.7517, having earlier re-tested a near two-month peak of US$0.7527 first set overnight.

The New Zealand dollar was also 0.2 per cent firmer at US$0.7167, not far off a one-year peak of US$0.7189.

"The atmosphere is akin to the moments before a western shootout. We know trouble is brewing yet there is a relative calmness before trouble erupts," said Matt Simpson, senior market analyst at ThinkForex.

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"The polls will no doubt dictate the direction, trajectory and volatility of most asset classes tomorrow." New Zealand government bonds eased slightly, sending yields up half a basis point at the short end and three basis points at the long end.

Australian government bond futures were also softer, with the three-year bond contract down 3 ticks at 98.340. The 10-year contract slipped 3 ticks to 97.7350.

REUTERS

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