The Australian dollar gained for the first time in four days versus its U.S. counterpart after the country’s jobless rate unexpectedly declined in August on signs employers in mining states are still hiring workers.
New Zealand’s dollar and the Aussie rose versus most of their major peers after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said policy makers had agreed on an unlimited debt-buying program, bolstering appetite for higher-yielding assets. Australia’s unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent, from 5.2 percent in July. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey was for an increase to 5.3 percent.
“The Australian dollar is defying gravity in the face of the deterioration in the U.S. and global manufacturing cycle,” Kit Juckes, London-based head of foreign-exchange research at Societe Generale SA, wrote yesterday in a note to clients.
Australia’s currency appreciated 0.9 percent to $1.0284 yesterday in New York after earlier rising as much as 1.1 percent, its biggest increase since Aug. 2. It climbed 1.5 percent to 81.10 yen and reached 81.31 yen.
New Zealand’s dollar, nicknamed the kiwi, rose 0.9 percent to 80.15 U.S. cents. The kiwi gained 1.5 percent to 63.20 yen.
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials advanced 0.5 percent. The S&P 500 Index climbed 2 percent, the most since Aug. 3.