The Australian and New Zealand dollars gained versus most of their major peers as investors pared bets that the countries’ central banks will lower interest rates.
The so-called Aussie and kiwi slid versus the yen after the Bank of Japan (8301) expanded its asset-purchase fund, its main policy tool, by 11 trillion yen ($138 billion) to 66 trillion yen. Demand for the higher-yielding currencies recovered after being limited earlier amid concern Sandy, the super-storm ravaging the American Northeast, will hurt the U.S. economy.
“Our house view is that the RBA will push a rate cut to December,” said Lee Wai Tuck, currency strategist at Forecast Pte in Singapore, referring to the Reserve Bank of Australia. “I’m pretty surprised by the resilience in the Aussie.”
Australia’s dollar climbed 0.3 percent to $1.0364 as of 6:07 p.m. in Sydney and fell 0.1 percent to 82.40 yen. The New Zealand currency added 0.4 percent to 82.20 U.S. cents. It declined as much as 0.6 percent before trading little changed at 65.34 yen.
Overnight index swaps data compiled by Bloomberg showed traders estimate there is a 59 percent that the RBA will cut its key rate to 3 percent from 3.25 percent at its Nov. 6 meeting, compared with a 64 percent probability yesterday. The odds for New Zealand’s central bank to lower its benchmark, currently held at 2.5 percent, in December by the same amount fell to 14 percent from 18 percent.
U.S. stock trading is canceled today for a second day because of Sandy, recently downgraded from a hurricane, joining bond markets. The largest Atlantic tropical storm on record claimed lives from North Carolina to New England, plunged millions into darkness and caused damage that may add up to billions of dollars.
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