The Australian dollar rose against its U.S. counterpart as global stocks and commodities gained amid a report showing that American unemployment-benefit applications fell, spurring risk appetite.
The so-called Aussie climbed against the majority of its 16 most-traded peers as the nation added more jobs than forecast even as the jobless rate rose to its highest level since 2010. The New Zealand dollar fell versus most of its major counterparts after a manufacturing gauge contracted for a third month and consumer confidence fell to a three-month low. It gained versus the U.S. and Japanese currencies.
“A better-than-expected headline figure was the market’s key focus, but a jump in the unemployment rate is the bigger takeaway,” Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at Toronto-Dominion Bank, wrote yesterday in a note to clients. “The Aussie’s rise on the release does not seem sustainable given the generally softer labor trend that the report implies.”
The Australian dollar appreciated 0.3 percent to $1.0263 yesterday in New York after earlier gaining 0.6 percent, its biggest increase since Sept. 27. It increased 0.5 percent to 80.38 yen.
New Zealand’s dollar, nicknamed the kiwi, rose 0.1 percent to 81.74 U.S. cents after earlier declining to 81.54 cents. It gained 0.3 percent to 64.03 yen.
The number of people employed in Australia rose by 14,500, the biggest increase since May, after a revised 9,100 drop the prior month, according to the statistics bureau. The jobless rate climbed to 5.4 percent, the highest since April 2010, with the 0.3 percentage point rise the biggest since May 2009.
New Zealand’s manufacturing index rose to 48.2 from a revised 47.4 in August, the third month it has remained below the 50 level signaling the industry is contracting, according to Bank of New Zealand Ltd. and Business New Zealand. An index of consumer confidence fell to 110.5 this month from 111.9 in September, ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd. said in another report.
Applications for U.S. jobless benefits dropped 30,000 to 339,000 in the week ended Oct. 6, the fewest since February 2008, Labor Department figures showed. Economists forecast 370,000 claims, according to a Bloomberg survey.
The kiwi has strengthened 3.5 percent this year, the biggest increase among the 10 developed-nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes. The Aussie has fallen 1.6 percent and the greenback is down 2.2 percent.