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Aussie Dollar Drops to Six-Month Low Versus Yen on U.S. Growth

Australia’s dollar fell to a six-month low against the yen as investors sought safety amid slowing U.S. economic growth.

New Zealand’s dollar fell to the weakest in five months against the Japanese currency before a report that may show the nation’s terms of trade fell for a third quarter. The so-called kiwi declined against the dollar as stocks and commodities fell.

The Aussie fell 0.7 percent to 76.23 at 5 p.m. in New York yesterday. It rose 0.3 percent to 97.32 U.S. cents after earlier reaching 96.74 U.S. cents, the weakest since Nov. 25. New Zealand’s currency fell 0.9 percent against the yen to 59.03 and gained 0.1 percent versus the dollar to 75.37 U.S. cents.

U.S. gross domestic product rose at a 1.9 percent annual pace in the first quarter, down from a 2.2 percent prior estimate, signaling a stagnating recovery in the world’s largest economy. The number of Americans applying for unemployment insurance payments rose last week to a one-month high.

The MSCI World Index of stocks slumped 0.3 percent and the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials declined 1.2 percent as European inflation slowed more than forecast.

New Zealand’s terms of trade index may fall for a third quarter as the cost of imports outpace exports. The index dropped 2.8 percent in the first three months of 2012, according to the median estimate of a Bloomberg News survey. It declined 1.4 percent in the previous period.

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