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Aussie, N.Z. Dollars Fall Versus Majors After U.S. Retail Data

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Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The Australian dollar fell for a third day against its U.S. counterpart as data showed U.S. retail sales increased for the first time in four months.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars declined against the majority of their 16 most-traded counterparts as investors sought haven assets. The South Pacific nations’ currencies depreciated as the euro-area economy contracted 0.2 percent in the second quarter.

“Maybe it’s time for a little risk-off as we head into September, as the reality is none of the real fundamental issues have been solved,” Firas Askari, head currency trader in Toronto at Bank of Montreal, said in a telephone interview. “The market might refocus on the negative as opposed to the positive.”

The Aussie declined 0.3 percent to $1.0489 yesterday in New York, extending its longest losing streak since July 25. The currency rose 0.3 percent to 82.59 yen.

New Zealand’s dollar, nicknamed the kiwi, fell a third day, dropping 0.5 percent to 80.54 U.S. cents. It climbed 0.1 percent to 63.41 yen.

The currencies gained earlier after a private survey showed Australian business confidence advanced from a 10-month low, and a New Zealand government report showed retail sales increased more than economists forecast during the second quarter.

The New Zealand dollar will likely fall to 78.41 cents and may decline as low as 74.89 cents against the U.S. dollar after descending from the top of its yearlong contracting range, according to Bank of America Corp., citing technical analysis.

The kiwi had an “impulsive break” to 80.67 cents to the greenback that confirmed a top and turn lower, MacNeil Curry, head of foreign-exchange and interest-rates technical strategy in New York at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, wrote yesterday in a research report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lindsey Rupp in New York at lrupp2@bloomberg.net

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

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