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Markets

Australia, NZ dollars edge lower as investors seek safety of greenback

  • Yields in 10-year bonds were one basis point higher at 1.78%. They reached a 23-month high of 1.97% on Feb. 26 on bets of rate hikes as early as next year. Bond futures were also stable at 98.229.
Published March 9, 2021

SYDNEY: The Australian and New Zealand dollars slipped against their US counterpart on Tuesday as investors sought the safety of the greenback amidst elevated government bond yields and expectations of an economic recovery strengthening.

The Aussie dollar fell 0.34% to $0.7621, the lowest since Feb. 5, as a surge in global bond yields spook investors out of riskier currencies.

It has layers of support, at $0.7618 and $0.7601.

"The surging US$ has put paid to the A$," Westpac strategists said in a note. While the appeal of the greenback is likely to continue, other factors, including the strength of the Australian economy and its recovery, and high commodity prices would likely support the Aussie in the medium term, they said.

A measure of Australian business confidence rose to decade highs for February as sales, profits and employment all picked up sharply in a sign of a continued economic recovery from last year's COVID-19 pandemic-induced recession.

The kiwi dollar was similarly 0.15% lower at $0.7108 on Tuesday, after briefly dipping as low as $0.7105 overnight.

Australian bond yields were stable near recent highs, ahead of a speech by Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor Philip Lowe on Wednesday, when he will speak about the country's economic recovery and monetary policy.

Yields in 10-year bonds were one basis point higher at 1.78%. They reached a 23-month high of 1.97% on Feb. 26 on bets of rate hikes as early as next year. Bond futures were also stable at 98.229.

New Zealand yields in 10-year bonds were also hovering close to multi-year highs, trading 2 basis points higher at 1.93%.

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