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SYDNEY: The Australian and New Zealand dollars were pinned down on Friday and set for modest weekly losses as growth worries and falling commodity prices kept a lid on investor optimism. The Aussie rose 0.1% to $0.6903 on Friday, but it was down about 0.5% for the week and on course for a third weekly fall in a row.

Resistance is at the 10-day moving average at $0.6943 while near-term support is at the June 14 low at $0.6850. The kiwi gained 0.2% to $0.6291, but is eyeing a fourth weekly loss in a row, with a fall of 0.4% this week. Major support lies at its recent low of $0.6197, but gains have been hard to come by.

Fear of a global recession has pushed down commodity prices and dampened expectations for interest rate rises on both sides of the Tasman Sea. Copper, a bellwether for world growth, slid 3% in Shanghai and is down more than 7% for the week. Iron ore is also on the back foot.

“The global growth outlook is deteriorating rapidly as central banks jack up rates aggressively, the Fed enacts record quantitive tightening, and China remains in partial lockdown,” analysts at Westpac said in a note. “The 0.6750 level looks like the next obvious target for the Aussie (in the) near term.” Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe is due to speak on a panel with other central bank governors about the monetary policy and inflation in Zurich later today. He is expected to reaffirm the central bank’s determination to tame rising inflation.

Australian government bond futures rallied. The 10-year yield dropped 13 basis points (bps) to 3.713%, quite a retreat from the 4.125% it hit last week. The rally has narrowed the spread over Treasuries to 60 bps from a top around 90 basis points last week. Three-year yields also fell, to 3.313% from a recent high of 3.767%, and bank bill futures have.

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