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Aussie, N.Z. Dollar Fall as Drop in Stocks Saps Demand for Risk

May 13 (Bloomberg) -- The Australian dollar slid for a third straight day against its U.S. counterpart and New Zealand’s currency decreased as global stocks dropped, damping demand for higher-yielding assets.

The Aussie had a second straight weekly decline against the greenback as traders bet the nation’s Reserve Bank will delay interest-rate increases following a report yesterday that showed employers unexpectedly cut jobs in April.

“The stock market is trading in a heavy fashion, and that is feeding across to the Aussie,” said Tim Waterer, a currency dealer at CMC Markets in Sydney. “While we have uncertainty about when the RBA is going to move, there’s a tendency for the Aussie to move to the downside.”

Australia’s dollar fell 1.3 percent to $1.0541 at 12:17 p.m. in New York, from $1.0678 yesterday, extending its weekly drop to 1.5 percent. New Zealand’s dollar depreciated 1.4 percent to 78.48 U.S. cents and lost 0.7 percent this week.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index of stocks lost 0.1 percent today, extending this week’s decline to 1 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 0.9 percent.

Benchmark rates are 4.75 percent in Australia and 2.5 percent in New Zealand, compared with as low as zero in the U.S. and Japan, attracting investors to the South Pacific nations’ higher-yielding assets.

To contact the reporter on this story: Candice Zachariahs in Sydney at czachariahs2@bloomberg.net

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

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