The Australian and New Zealand dollars advanced to the strongest since November versus their U.S. counterpart as global manufacturing gauges climbed, boosting demand for higher-yielding assets.
The New Zealand currency, nicknamed the kiwi, rose against most of its 16 most-traded peers as U.S. data showed manufacturing in the world’s biggest economy expanded at the fastest pace in six months and stocks rallied. The Aussie and the kiwi strengthened for a fourth day versus the greenback as a report showed China’s service industries grew in December, after a Chinese index of manufacturing increased earlier this week.
“There’s a bit of optimism and a bit of risk appetite coming into the early part of the new year,” said Thomas Averill, managing director in Sydney at Rochford Capital, a currency and interest-rate risk-management company. “For the next week or so, they’re going to be fairly well supported,” he said, referring to the Australian and New Zealand currencies.
Australia’s dollar rose 1.4 percent to $1.0372 at 12:25 p.m. New York time, and touched $1.0386, the strongest level since Nov. 9. The Aussie climbed 1.1 percent to 79.58 yen.
The New Zealand dollar added 1.5 percent to 78.97 U.S. cents and reached 79.06 cents, the most since Nov. 14. The kiwi gained 1.2 percent to 60.59 yen.
The MSCI World Index of stocks and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index both rallied 1.8 percent.
A Chinese purchasing managers’ index for non-manufacturing industries rose to 56 last month from 49.7 in November, the National Bureau of Statistics and the Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. The December PMI for manufacturing was 50.3, compared with 49 in November, according to a statement Jan. 1 from the statistics bureau and China’s logistics federation.
Manufacturing in the U.S. grew in December at the fastest pace in six months, the Institute for Supply Management’s factory index showed today. It rose to 53.9, from 52.7 in November, the Tempe, Arizona-based group’s data showed.
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