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New Zealand, Australian Dollars Strengthen as Commodities Rise

The New Zealand and Australian dollars gained versus their U.S. counterpart as commodities rose the most in more than a week.

New Zealand’s currency, nicknamed the kiwi, advanced versus all 16 of its most-traded peers after the nation’s statistics agency said the value of retail transactions on electronic cards increased 0.3 percent in December, the third-straight monthly advance. The Aussie dollar reached the highest level in more than four years against the yen.

The kiwi added 0.8 percent to 84.32 U.S. cents yesterday in New York and climbed 1.2 percent to 75.44 yen.

Australia’s dollar appreciated 0.3 percent to $1.0567. It gained 0.6 percent to 94.55 yen and touched 94.65, the highest level since August 2008.

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials rose 0.9 percent, the most on a closing basis since Jan. 2.

New Zealand’s dollar strengthened 2.3 percent over the past year among the 10 developed-nation currencies monitored by the Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes. The Aussie fell 1.7 percent, and the U.S. dollar slid 4.2 percent.

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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