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SYDNEY: The Australian and New Zealand dollars lost some steam on Thursday, as a recent bounce ran into new worries about global growth, even as markets have jacked up bets on domestic rate rises.

The Aussie was last pinned just below 69 cents at $0.6895, after touching a three-week high of $0.6930 on Wednesday. The kiwi hovered at $0.6228, off an overnight high of $0.6272.

Traders are awaiting the outcome of a European Central Bank policy meeting on Thursday, where a Reuters report this week on policymakers mulling an outsized 50 basis-point hike had also fuelled an increase in Australian interest rate expectations.

On Wednesday Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor Philip Lowe emphasised higher rates were needed to anchor inflation expectations.

But uncertainty around Europe’s gas supply, fresh wobbles in China’s property market and the detection of foot-and-mouth viral fragments in imported meat products in Australia have all leant support to the US dollar against the Aussie.

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