SYDNEY/WELLINGTON: The Australian and New Zealand dollars were in retreat on Thursday as a sharp reversal in global risk sentiment wrongfooted speculators and triggered a wave of stop-loss sales.
The sudden change of mood saw the Aussie down 0.4% at $0.7628, snapping major chart support at $0.7640 and hitting its lowest since late December.
That was a marked turnaround from early Wednesday when it had been testing resistance around $0.7765, and risked a pullback toward $0.7550.
The kiwi dollar slid to $0.7139, having shed 1.1% overnight from a top of $0.7245. That took it uncomfortably close to the January low at $0.7097, a breach of which would risk a return to $0.7000.
The economic unease did provide a boost to bonds, with Australian 10-year yields easing to 1.05% and away from a recent peak at 1.118%.
New Zealand bonds yields on 10-year paper edged up to 1.110%, having touched a nine-month high of 1.143% last week.