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A$, NZ$ near 1-month highs on euro, China trade data eyed

australian-dolarSYDNEY/WELLINGTON: The Australian and New Zealand dollars held near one-month highs against the euro on Monday, as a gloomy European outlook and uncertainties about Italy weighed on the common currency, while investors were awaiting trade data from China.


Euro at A$1.2316, having slipped to A$1.2278, its lowest since Nov. 20. It struck a one-month peak of A$1.2544 last week.


A sustained break below A$1.2300 would be a bearish sign with bids around A$1.2250 forming initial support, ahead of A$1.2206, the lower Bollinger band.


Against the kiwi, the euro edges down to NZ$1.5489 , after dipping to NZ$1.5463, its lowest since Nov. 13 in early trade. Kiwi has gained more than 2 pct on the single currency so far this month.


Euro under broad pressure after Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti on Saturday said he intended to resign early, creating uncertainty over who will succeed. Euro was already weighed after Germany's central bank on Friday warned the euro zone's biggest economy could soon enter recession.


Investors waiting for Beijing trade data later on Monday for further signs the Chinese economy is picking up.


Figures released over the weekend showed China's factory output and retail sales jumped to eight-month highs in November, underpinning hopes the world's second-biggest economy is regaining momentum.


The Antipodean currencies are sensitive to news out of China, a key export market.


The Antipodeans steady against the US dollar, as Italian politics offset gains made on Beijing data over the weekend. Aussie at $1.0483, barely changed from New York's closing level on Friday and within striking distance of an 11-week peak of $1.0515 set last week.


Currency speculators have extended Aussie long positions to a net total of $92.2 bln last week, from $76.8 bln the week before, even as the Australian central bank cut rates to a matching record-low of 3 pct.


Support at $1.0440 with resistance around $1.0495, the Dec 7 high, ahead of key barriers at $1.0525.


Kiwi touches a session high of $0.8340 from $0.8324 early, after dairy exporter Fonterra raises its payout forecast, and says it anticipates global dairy prices to rise in the coming months.


Kiwi near a two-month high of $0.8349 touched last week, when the NZ currency rallied after RBNZ monetary statement doused rate cut expectations and signalled rates on hold to 2014.

Support builds around $0.8285, a low hit on Dec. 6, while once through last week's $0.8349, it faces considerable barrier at $0.8357, late September's six-month high.

Data in Australia showed owner-occupied home loan commitments rose a tiny 0.1 pct in October vs forecasts of a 0.3 increase while investment housing finance jumped 5.5 pct.

NZ manufacturing volumes rose 2.6 pct in the third quarter, suggesting a positive contribution to Q3 GDP, due next week.

NZ government bonds edge down, prodding yields 1 basis point higher across the curve.

Australian government bonds softer, with the three-year contract 0.050 points lower at 97.350, and the 10-year contract down 0.045 points to 96.915.

Center>Copyright Reuters, 2012


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