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SYDNEY: The Australian dollar pushed to three-week highs on Friday as a solid report on retail sales showed consumers holding up well to surging inflation, setting the scene for further increases in interest rates.

It was enough to lift the Aussie 0.5% to $0.7135 and finally crack resistance at $0.7126 after four straight days of trying. That brought gains for the week to 1.2% and put some distance between the currency and its recent two-year trough of $0.6829.

The New Zealand dollar also added 0.5%, to reach $0.6505, but had yet to break resistance around $0.6514. The kiwi was up 1.5% for the week so far and also some way from its recent low, $0.6219.

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