Friday, June 26, 2009

Australian Dollar Climbs on Yield Demand; kiwi dollar Weakens on GDP

By Garfield Reynolds and Theresa Barraclough

June 26 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s dollar rose for a fourth day as stocks climbed on speculation investors will buy higher- yielding assets amid signs of a global recovery. New Zealand’s dollar fell after the country’s economy shrank at a faster pace.

Australia’s dollar strengthened against all of the 16 major currencies as prices rose for gold and oil, the nation’s third- and fourth-most valuable commodity exports. New Zealand’s dollar fell against the greenback and all of the most-traded currencies after the statistics bureau said gross domestic product declined 1 percent last quarter, exceeding the median estimate for a 0.7 percent contraction in a Bloomberg News survey.

“We are seeing higher risk appetite across the board,” said Sharada Selvanathan, a currency strategist at BNP Paribas SA in Hong Kong. “With equity markets remaining stable, investors are happy to put their money into good use. The Aussie will do well.”

Australia’s currency gained 0.5 percent to 80.62 U.S. cents as of 1:31 p.m. in Sydney from yesterday in New York. It climbed 0.4 percent to 77.31 yen. New Zealand’s dollar weakened 0.2 percent to 64.40 U.S. cents and slid 0.2 percent to 61.78 yen.

Benchmark interest rates are 3 percent in Australia and 2.5 percent in New Zealand, compared with 0.1 percent in Japan and as low as zero in the U.S., attracting investors to the South Pacific nations’ assets. The risk in these so-called carry trades is that currency market moves can erase profits.

Australia’s dollar may strengthen to as high as 86 U.S. cents by the end of the third quarter, Selvanathan said.
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