SYDNEY/WELLINGTON: The Australian and New Zealand dollars were on the defensive on Friday after a plunge in oil prices spilled over into other commodities, while domestic economic data turned soft and broke a run of strong releases.
A spike in Treasury yields to 14-month highs also underpinned the US dollar while slugging local bond markets.
The Aussie eased back to $0.7742, from an overnight top of $0.7849, leaving it flat for the week so far. Resistance remains stiff in the $0.7840/50 zone, while support lies around $0.7700.
The kiwi dollar lapsed to $0.7154 and away from a peak of $0.7268, leaving it down 0.3% on the week. A break of support at $0.7150 could see a test of the March trough at $0.7100.
Yields on Australian 10-year paper eased to 1.82%, from 1.87%. That left the spread over Treasuries at 12 basis points, a long way from the 39 basis points seen at one stage of the mass sell-off in February.
The soft readings did help offset a little of the global pressure on local bonds, with NZ 10-year yields steadying at 1.848% and off the recent peak of 2.048%.