The Australian dollar rose against the yen for the first time in five days after a report showed manufacturing in China, the nation’s biggest trade partner, expanded at the fastest pace in two years and commodities rose.
The Aussie fell for a second day against the U.S. dollar after data on Jan. 23 showed Australia’s fourth-quarter consumer prices were lower than forecast, increasing prospects for an interest-rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia at a meeting Feb. 5. New Zealand’s dollar also fell against the greenback and rose against the yen after Japanese Deputy Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said the yen’s slide isn’t over yet.
“The Aussie hasn’t been the same since a report this week showed domestic consumer inflation fell short of expectations,” Joe Manimbo, a market analyst in Washington at Western Union Business Solutions, a unit of Western Union Co., said via e- mail. “Benign inflation, coupled with last week’s dismal jobs report, has helped pave the way for the RBA to cut rates to fresh lows in the months ahead.”
Australia’s dollar strengthened 1 percent percent to 94.45 yen in New York trading yesterday. It fell 1 percent to $1.0453 and touched $1.0445, the lowest level since Jan. 4.
The New Zealand dollar, nicknamed the kiwi, climbed 1.4 percent to 75.28 yen and lost 0.5 percent to 83.79 U.S. cents.
The yen tumbled versus all of its 16 most-traded counterparts yesterday after Nishimura said in an interview that a level of 100 per U.S. dollar wouldn’t be a concern. The currency slid to as weak as 90.56 to the greenback yesterday in New York after falling 12 percent over the past three months.
The preliminary reading of a purchasing managers’ index for China was 51.9 in January, according to a statement from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics. That compares with the 51.5 final reading for December and the 51.7 median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.
Australia’s trimmed mean gauge of core consumer prices rose 0.6 percent from October through December from the prior quarter, Bureau of Statistics data showed. That compared with a forecast for a 0.7 percent increase in a survey of economists.
Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials gained 0.3 percent.
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