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Australian, N.Z. Currencies Strengthen on Global Economic Gains

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The Australian and New Zealand dollars strengthened versus their U.S. counterpart, erasing earlier declines, as positive economic data from Europe to China increased demand for assets linked to growth.

The Aussie earlier fell after a government report showed the nation’s economy grew in the third quarter at half the pace analysts forecast. China’s manufacturing purchasing managers index rose more than forecast. The New Zealand dollar gained against the greenback amid speculation the European Central Bank may act to prevent the spread of the region’s debt crisis.

“The Chinese PMI, stronger data out of Europe and the U.S. is all pointing toward some sort of growth, and that’s directly helping the Aussie dollar rebound,” said Dean Popplewell, an analyst in Toronto at the online currency-trading firm Oanda Corp. “The world is slightly changing toward risk appreciation.”

Australia’s dollar rose 0.6 percent to 96.41 U.S. cents at 11:39 a.m. in New York, from 95.88 cents yesterday. Earlier it fell as much as 0.5 percent to touch 95.37 cents, the lowest level since Sept. 24. The currency climbed 1.2 percent to 81.17 yen, from 80.23 yen.

New Zealand’s dollar, nicknamed the kiwi, rose 0.5 percent to 74.65 U.S. cents, from 74.26 cents yesterday, when it declined to 73.98, the lowest level since Oct. 5. The kiwi appreciated 1.1 percent to 62.84 yen, from 62.14 yen.

European Manufacturing

Europe’s manufacturing industries expanded at the fastest pace in four months in November, led by Germany, the region’s largest economy, data showed. A gauge for the 16-nation euro area rose to 55.3, from 54.6 in the previous month, London-based Markit Economics said today.

The euro rose against most major counterparts on speculation ECB policy makers at a meeting tomorrow will signal their willingness to act to curb spread of the region’s sovereign-debt problem.

The Chinese manufacturing measure rose to 55.2 in November, from 54.7 the prior month, a report from the nation’s logistics federation showed. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey was for a reading of 54.8. China is Australia’s largest trading partner.

The Tempe, Arizona-based Institute for Supply Management’s factory index showed U.S. manufacturing expanded for a 16th straight month in November.

Australia’s dollar earlier weakened after the Bureau of Statistics said gross domestic product expanded 0.2 percent last quarter from the previous three months. Economists forecast a 0.4 percent gain, according to a Bloomberg survey.

To contact the reporters on this story: Catarina Saraiva in New York at asaraiva5@bloomberg.net; Masaki Kondo in Tokyo at mkondo3@bloomberg.net.

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

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