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SYDNEY: The Australian and New Zealand dollars edged lower on Friday to just a whisker of their 11-month lows, again burdened by global risk aversion amid escalating tensions in the Middle East, while bonds took a breather from selling.

The Aussie eased 0.2% to $0.6318, having slipped to as far as $0.6296 overnight. Major support now lies around $0.6287, an 11-month low which it has failed to breach three times this month.

The kiwi was also off 0.2% to $0.5832, after touching a fresh 11-month low of $0.5816 overnight. The kiwi is on track for a weekly drop of 0.8%, after a soft third-quarter inflation report took out any chance of a surprise rate hike in November.

The two risk sensitive currencies have been struggling of late as escalating tensions in the Middle East has led investors to safe-haven assets such as gold and US dollar.

Lenny Jin, global FX Strategist at HSBC, believes a sustained recovery remains off the table for the Australian dollar, despite the recent hawkish messaging on rates from the reserve bank.

“A faster monetary policy transmission in Australia versus the US combined with minimal rate cut expectations for the RBA over 2024-2025 mean that we still expect relative rates to move against the AUD over the next few quarters.”

Australian bonds heaved a sigh of relief as US benchmark Treasury yields pulled back from the critical 5%.

Ten-year government bond yields fell 5 basis points to 4.742%, after hitting 4.801%, a fresh high since 2011. Three-year yields also eased 4 bps to 4.184%.

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