The Australian and New Zealand dollars gained against the yen as global stocks rallied after a U.S. jobs report grew more than forecast.
Demand for the so-called Aussie and kiwi was limited against the greenback as strong U.S. employment figures dimmed prospects for further monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve, an action that would devalue the U.S. currency. The South Pacific nations’ currencies advanced against the euro after Greece said it would trigger an option forcing investors to take part in its debt restructuring, spurring speculation credit-default swaps protecting Greece’s debt will be triggered.
“The Australian dollar is strengthening on the back of stock gains,” said Takuya Kawabata, a researcher in Tokyo at Gaitame.com Research Institute Ltd., a unit of Japan’s largest currency-margin company.
Australia’s dollar appreciated 0.7 percent to 87.37 yen as of 11:23 a.m. in New York. It fell 0.4 percent to $1.0597, heading for a 1.3 percent weekly drop.
New Zealand’s dollar gained 0.9 percent to 67.83 yen from yesterday, when it rallied 1.5 percent. It lost 0.2 at 82. U.S. cents, set for a weekly loss of 0.7 percent.
The MSCI World Index Index climbed 0.2 percent. Three years ago today, global stocks reached a bottom amid the global financial crisis and have since rallied about 90 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.6 percent.
U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 227,000 in February after rising by a revised 284,000 the prior month, data from the Labor Department showed today. The unemployment rate held at a three-year low of 8.3 percent.
The report showed that U.S. job growth during the past six months was the strongest since 2006. The median projection of economists in a Bloomberg News survey called for 210,000 rise.
The Australian dollar earlier fell after imports outpaced exports by A$673 million ($715 million) in January, from a revised A$1.33 billion surplus in December, the Bureau of Statistics said in a report in Sydney today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 24 economists was for a surplus of A$1.5 billion.
“A weak number, and it’s putting some downward pressure on the Australian dollar,” said Greg Gibbs, a foreign-exchange strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in Sydney.
Greece said the participation rate in its swap of government debt for new securities will reach 95.7 percent with the activation of a so-called collective action clause, a move that could prove to be ruled a default.