The Australian and New Zealand dollars rose against most of their 16 major peers as Asian stocks extended a global rally in equities, indicating added demand for higher-yielding assets.
The Aussie and kiwi, as the currencies are nicknamed, rebounded from one-week lows before a report next week forecast to show manufacturing in the U.S. grew, adding to signs the world’s largest economy is building momentum. Gains in the South Pacific nations’ currencies were limited amid concern Europe’s debt crisis is spreading after Italy sold less than its maximum target at bond auctions yesterday.
Riskier assets will rise “if we can confirm that the U.S. economy is on a recovery path from the economic data next week,” said Marito Ueda, senior managing director in Tokyo at FX Prime Corp., a currency-margin company.
The Australian dollar advanced 1.3 percent to $1.0264 at 11:36 a.m. in New York from yesterday, when it dropped as low as $1.0044, the weakest since Dec. 20. The Aussie was at 78.93 yen from 78.69.
New Zealand’s dollar rose 1.2 percent to 78.04 U.S. cents from yesterday, when it touched 76.54, the lowest since Dec. 21. The kiwi fetched 60.02 yen from 59.88.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index of stocks rose 0.3 percent and the Thomson Reuters /Jefferies CRB Index of raw materials advanced 0.6 percent.
In the U.S., the Institute for Supply Management’s factory index (MXAP) probably increased to 53.2 in December from 52.7 in November, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News before the Tempe, Arizona-based group releases its figures on Jan. 3.
The Australian dollar rose 0.3 percent versus the greenback this year and fell 4.9 percent against the yen. New Zealand’s currency gained 0.1 percent against the dollar and lost 5 against its Japanese counterpart.
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