Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) -- The New Zealand dollar fell versus the majority of its 16 most-traded peers as yen rose after Japan’s Economy Minister Akira Amari said an excessively weak Japanese currency may hurt the nation’s imports, damping bets policy makers will try to push it down further.
The Australian dollar was little changed versus its U.S. counterpart before a report that may show an increase in unemployment, adding to signs of weakness in the domestic economy. Economists forecast that the South Pacific nation added the fewest jobs last month since a drop in August.
“Data releases continue to suggest a softened domestic outlook, and markets will gauge the upcoming employment report as a key factor driving near-term policy expectations for the Reserve Bank of Australia,” Eric Theoret, a currency strategist in Toronto at Bank of Nova Scotia’s Scotia Capital unit, wrote yesterday in a note to clients.
The kiwi, as New Zealand’s dollar is nicknamed, declined 0.4 percent to 83.96 U.S. cents yesterday in New York. It slid 1.2 percent to 74.56 yen after touching 75.53, the strongest since 2008.
Australia’s dollar traded at $1.0565 after falling 0.4 percent earlier. It declined 0.8 percent to 93.81 yen after reaching 94.66, also the highest since 2008.
Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials fell 0.5 percent. Crude oil futures declined 0.8 percent, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.1 percent.
The Australian dollar declined 1.1 percent over the past year among the 10 developed-nation currencies monitored by the Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes. The kiwi gained 2.6 percent, and the U.S. dollar slid 3.7 percent.
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