Aussie, Kiwi Dollars Fall as Risk Appetite Wanes on Euro Concern

The Australian and New Zealand dollars declined for a third straight day against their U.S. peer yesterday as concern Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis is worsening damped demand for riskier assets.

The two South Pacific currencies erased earlier gains against the greenback that followed an increase in a gauge of Chinese manufacturing. China is Australia’s biggest trading partner and New Zealand’s second-largest export market. Both currencies fell versus the yen.

“There’s no doubt been a slight shift in risk appetite,” Blake Jespersen, managing director of institutional foreign-exchange sales in Toronto at Bank of Montreal, said in a telephone interview. “There’s been a pretty steady stream of negative headlines out of Europe.”

The Aussie fell 0.4 percent to $1.0221 in New York yesterday, after earlier gaining as much as 0.6 percent. The currency declined 0.6 percent to 79.92 yen after appreciating 0.4 percent.

New Zealand’s dollar, known as the kiwi, decreased 0.4 percent to 78.45 U.S. cents, after also rising as much as 0.6 percent earlier. The kiwi fell 0.7 percent to 61.33 yen.

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials decreased 0.5 percent as commodities fell for a third day on European skepticism that Greece will meet its debt-reduction targets. Stocks fell, with the S&P 500 Index dropping 0.9 percent.

Australian consumer prices rose 1.3 percent last quarter from a year earlier, a Bloomberg News survey forecast before the Bureau of Statistics releases the data today. They gained 1.6 percent from January through March.

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