Aussie, N.Z. Dollars Fall With Risk Assets on Greek Concern

The Australian and New Zealand dollars dropped against their U.S. peer as concerns mounted that a deal for Greece to buy back its bonds may falter, damping demand for riskier assets.

The so-called Aussie snapped a three-day increase against the greenback amid concerns that euro-area finance chiefs and the International Monetary Fund will not agree to terms for a Greek bailout. The New Zealand currency slid for a second day versus the dollar as stocks and commodities declined after U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he is “disappointed” in the lack of progress to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take effect in 2013 unless lawmakers act.

“With no major economic reports scheduled for release, the currencies will take their cue from equities,” Kathy Lien, managing director of foreign exchange at BK Asset Management, an investment advisory firm in New York, wrote yesterday in a note to clients.

Australia’s currency depreciated 0.2 percent to $1.0446 yesterday in New York after earlier touching a two-month high of $1.0490. It declined 0.1 percent to 85.81 yen.

The New Zealand dollar, nicknamed the kiwi, sank 0.2 percent to 82.03 U.S. cents. The kiwi decreased 0.1 percent to 67.40 yen.

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of raw materials declined 0.2 percent and crude-oil futures slipped 0.5 percent to $87.34 per barrel in New York. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) fell 0.5 percent.

New Zealand’s dollar has strengthened 4.1 percent this year, the biggest increase among the 10 developed-nation currencies monitored by the Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes, and the Aussie has gained 0.6 percent. The U.S. dollar has fallen 2 percent and the yen has dropped 8.9 percent to lead decliners.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joseph Ciolli in New York at jciolli@bloomberg.net

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

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