The Australian dollar fell before U.S. data forecast to show orders for durable goods rose in April, adding to signs of a sustained recovery in the world’s largest economy and diminishing the need for monetary stimulus.
The Aussie is set for a third weekly decline amid speculation a strengthening U.S. economy will prompt the Federal Reserve to pare back on its bond-buying program. New Zealand’s dollar weakened, trimming this week’s advance, after a government report showed the nation’s trade surplus for April was less than economists estimated. Both South Pacific nation’s currencies were lower against the yen as stock declines worldwide spurred investors to sell higher-yielding assets.
“There’s a lot of negative sentiment around the Aussie,” said Peter Dragicevich, a Sydney-based currency economist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the nation’s largest lender. “The discussion has shifted toward when will the Fed taper its asset purchases,” boosting the U.S. dollar, he said.
The Australian dollar fell 0.6 percent to 96.92 U.S. cents as of 9:52 a.m. in Sydney after yesterday touching 95.94, the least since June 1. It fell 0.2 percent to 99.23 yen. The kiwi declined 0.4 percent to 81.01 U.S. cents and yesterday fell as low as 80.06, the weakest since Sept. 7. It slid 0.1 percent to 82.94 yen.
For the week, Australia’s currency has weakened 0.4 percent versus the greenback and the kiwi is up 0.4 percent.
U.S. orders for durable goods climbed 1.5 percent last month from a revised 6.9 percent drop in March, Commerce Department data may show today according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said this week the central bank may taper monthly bond purchases if it’s confident of sustained gains in the economy.
New Zealand had a trade surplus of NZ$157 million ($127.1 million) in April, less than the median estimate for a NZ$515 million reading.
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