Aussie Falls in Longest Losing Streak in a Year as Sales Unexpectedly Drop

Australia’s currency fell for a fifth day against the U.S. dollar in the longest losing streak in almost a year after data showed an unexpected decline in retail sales in June.

The Aussie fell against most of its major peers after the Bureau of Statistics in Sydney reported a lower-than-forecast trade surplus. Yields on all Australian government bonds fell below the central bank’s cash rate for the first time since 2009. New Zealand’s dollar slid to the lowest two weeks against the greenback after Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd., the world’s largest dairy exporter, said whole-milk powder prices remained near an eight-month low.

“It just adds to a long line of weaker-than-expected data from Australia,” Gareth Berry, a currency strategist at UBS AG in Singapore, said about the retail sales report. “Clearly it’s not good news” for the Australian dollar, he said.

Australia’s currency weakened 0.6 percent to $1.0715 at 12:13 p.m. in New York, from $1.0779 yesterday. It touched $1.0679, the lowest since July 19. Its last five straight days of losses ended Aug. 13, 2010. The Aussie fell 1 percent to 82.36 yen and reached 82.08 yen, its weakest level since March.

New Zealand’s dollar, nicknamed the kiwi, lost 0.4 percent to 86.29 U.S. cents, from 86.65 cents, and reached 85.76, the lowest since July 21. It slid 0.8 percent to 66.32 yen, from 66.85 yesterday, and touched 66.10, the least since July 14.

Retail Sales

Australia’s retail sales decreased 0.1 percent from a month earlier, when they fell 0.6 percent, the Bureau of Statistics said. That compares with the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey for a 0.4 percent gain. The country had a trade surplus of A$2.05 billion ($2.2 billion) in June, the statistics bureau said. That compares with a forecast of A$2.2 billion, according to a separate survey.

The yield on the Australian government bond due in April 2023, the longest outstanding maturity, declined to as low as 4.68 percent, compared with the Reserve Bank of Australia’s benchmark interest rate of 4.75 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Milk powder for October delivery was $3,477 a metric ton, from $3,474 two weeks earlier, which was the lowest since Nov. 16, according to Auckland-based Fonterra’s GlobalDairyTrade auction. The near-term contract fell 0.6 percent from the July 19 sale, according to a trade-weighted price index from the company. Whole-milk powder has slumped 30 percent since reaching a record $4,958 a ton in March.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristine Aquino in Singapore at Kaquino1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dave Liedtka at dliedtka@bloomberg.net

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