The Australian and New Zealand dollars gained versus the majority of their most-traded counterparts as commodities rose for a second day.
The South Pacific currencies were little changed against the U.S. dollar as stocks declined. Iron, Australia’s biggest export in dollar terms, climbed.
The Aussie dollar was little changed at $1.0504 yesterday in New York trading. It rose 0.3 percent to A$1.2454 per euro and dropped 0.9 percent to 91.43 yen.
New Zealand’s dollar, nicknamed the kiwi, was little changed at 83.66 U.S. cents. It rose 0.2 percent to NZ$1.5637 per euro and slid 0.9 percent to 72.83 yen.
Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials rose as much as 0.6 percent before paring the gain to 0.2 percent. Iron-ore swaps advanced to the highest level in 14 months as China’s accelerating economy boosted demand. January contracts gained 1.3 percent to $152 a dry metric ton, the highest since October 2011, according to GFI Group Inc.
China is Australia’s biggest trade partner and New Zealand’s second-largest export market.
The S&P 500 Index fell as much as 0.7 percent before trimming losses to 0.3 percent.