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Aussie Dollar Weakens as Commodities Fall on Outlook for Growth

The Australian dollar fell versus the majority of its 16 most-traded peers as commodities declined after the International Monetary Fund lowered its estimate for global economic growth.

The Aussie weakened against the U.S. dollar for the first time in three days after the Washington-based IMF said the world economy will grow 3.5 percent this year, less than the 3.6 percent forecast in October. The fund cut Japan’s 2014 growth forecast by 0.4 percentage point to 0.7 percent. Australia’s consumer price index rose less than forecast last quarter. New Zealand’s dollar gained as a gauge of manufacturing rose.

“The Aussie decline came from the Asian session after the release of the softer-than-expected CPI number, which increased fears that the Reserve Bank of Australia will cut rates,” Camilla Sutton, chief currency strategist at Bank of Nova Scotia, said yesterday in a telephone interview from Toronto. “It tried to climb back back during the European session, but the IMF report weighed it down.”

Australia’s dollar declined 0.1 percent to $1.0555 in New York trading yesterday. It fell 0.2 percent to 93.53 yen in the fourth straight daily loss.

The New Zealand dollar, nicknamed the kiwi, advanced 0.2 percent to 84.24 U.S. cents. The currency was little changed at 74.65 yen.

Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials dropped as much as 0.5 percent before paring the loss to 0.3 percent.

Manufacturing Gauge

New Zealand’s manufacturing expanding last month, according to the Performance of Manufacturing Index compiled by the Bank of New Zealand Ltd. and Business NZ. The reading was 50.1, compared with 48.8 in November.

Australia’s CPI increased 0.2 percent from the previous three months, compared with the median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg News survey of a 0.4 percent rise, the Bureau of Statistics reported.

The Aussie dollar fell 1.5 percent over the past 6 months among the 10 developed-nation currencies monitored by the Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes. The kiwi gained 2.9 percent. The U.S. dollar fell 4.5 percent, and the yen tumbled 17 percent.

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