Aussie Reaches 3-Month Low Amid Risk Aversion; N.Z. Dollar Falls

Australia’s dollar fell to a three-month low versus its U.S. peer as appetite for higher-yielding assets shrank after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the euro’s strength may hamper economic recovery.

The currency weakened earlier after employment data failed to signal enough improvement to would rule out further easing by the Reserve Bank of Australia. The RBA will issue a statement today that may reinforce comments it made this week that the inflation outlook “would afford scope to ease policy further.” New Zealand’s dollar slid as commodities fell.

“I would expect to see a reiteration of the dovish bias, and an elaboration of the dovish bias, that we saw earlier this week,” Nick Bennenbroek, the head currency strategist at Wells Fargo & Co, said yesterday in a phone interview from New York.

The Aussie declined 0.4 percent to $1.0282 yesterday in New York. It dropped below its 200-day moving average for a second day and reaching $1.0273, the weakest since Oct. 24. It depreciated 0.4 percent to 96.27 yen.

The New Zealand dollar, nicknamed the kiwi, weakened 0.8 percent to 83.30 U.S. cents and touched 82.97 cents, the lowest since Jan. 30. It slid 0.8 percent to 77.99 yen.

Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials fell as much as 0.5 percent, while crude-oil futures dropped 0.8 percent to $95.88 a barrel in New York.

Australian Employment

The number of full-time jobs in Australia declined by 9,800, and part-time employment rose by 20,200, the statistics bureau said yesterday in Sydney. Australia’s participation rate, a measure of the labor force in proportion to the population, fell to 65 percent from 65.1 percent a month earlier. The total number of people employed increased by 10,400 last month, beating estimates from a Bloomberg news survey by 4,400.

The ECB kept its benchmark interest rate at a record-low 0.75 percent today. Draghi told reporters policy makers want to see if the currency’s rise “is sustained, and if it alters our assessment of the risks to price stability.” The shared currency has gained versus all of its 16 most-traded peers over the past six months.

The Aussie fell 2.2 percent during the past three months among the 10 developed-nation currencies monitored by the Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes. The kiwi gained 1.1 percent and the euro climbed 4.6 percent. The greenback dropped 0.8 percent.

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