The Australian and New Zealand dollars rose against their U.S. counterpart after data showed better-than-forecast building approvals for both countries.
Australia’s dollar gained against most of its major counterparts before reports tomorrow that may show China’s manufacturing strengthened, improving prospects for exports. Both South Pacific currencies were supported as Asian stocks and commodities increased.
“The Australian dollar is stronger, initially buoyed by stronger domestic data including building approvals and private-sector credit, and subsequently supported by broader market sentiment,” Eric Theoret, a currency strategist in Toronto at Bank of Nova Scotia’s Scotia Capital unit, wrote yesterday in a note to clients.
Australia’s currency appreciated 0.1 percent to $1.0376 yesterday in New York after rising to $1.0400, its highest level since Oct. 18. It rose 0.3 percent to 82.76 yen.
The New Zealand dollar, nicknamed the kiwi, increased 0.2 percent to 82.25 U.S. cents. The kiwi climbed 0.4 percent to 65.61 yen.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.7 percent. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of raw materials rose 0.3 percent.
In Australia, the number of permits granted to build or renovate houses and apartments gained 7.8 percent last month from August, when they rose a revised 8.8 percent, the Bureau of Statistics said in Sydney yesterday. That exceeded the median forecast for a 1 percent increase in a separate poll.
Building approvals in New Zealand increased 7.8 percent in September from August, when they gained a revised 2.8 percent, the statistics office said in Wellington yesterday. Economists in a Bloomberg News survey had projected a 3 percent advance.
Figures due today may show a manufacturing gauge based on a survey of purchasing managers in China, the world’s second-biggest economy, climbed to 50.2 this month from 49.8 in September, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
New Zealand’s dollar has strengthened 4.1 percent this year, the biggest gain among 10 developed-nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes. The Aussie has fallen 0.5 percent, and the greenback is down 2.3 percent.