SYDNEY: The Australian and New Zealand dollars marked time on Thursday with bulls content to consolidate a month of hefty gains as commodity prices remained high, and bond yields even higher.
The Aussie was holding at $0.7510, a gain of 3.4% for the month. It topped out at $0.7540 earlier in the week and just short of its high from last October of $0.7555.
The kiwi dollar stood at $0.6972, after touching a four-month high of $0.6990 overnight. That put it 2.9% firmer for the month and close to major resistance at $0.7000.
“If we are right the war leads to a structural increase in energy prices, there is more upside to AUD this year,” said Carol Kong, a currency strategist at CBA.
“We expect AUD/USD will soon break above its resistance near $0.7516 and lift higher to $0.7673.” The Aussie has been boosted by flows from the yen as the Bank of Japan (BOJ) acts aggressively in bond markets to keep yields down near zero. Australian 10-year yields in contrast have climbed 63 basis points this month to 2.791%.
That meaty yield advantage has helped the Aussie climb almost 10% on the yen this month to reach 91.79.
Domestic economic data was again upbeat with approvals to build new homes surging a huge 43.5% in February, to more than recover from January’s 27.1% dive.
The wild swings suggests the approvals process was disrupted by a wave of Omicron cases in January, and the bounce implies housing construction will remain strong for some time.