Aussie Climbs to One-Month High as China Loans Boost Outlook

Australia’s dollar rose to its highest level in a month after China said new credit was at a record in January, signaling the world’s second-largest economy will maintain growth momentum.

The Aussie has climbed 1.9 percent over a month, the best performance among 10 currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation Weighted Indexes. The Reserve Bank of Australia will release tomorrow minutes of its last meeting when it signaled an end to two years of rate cuts. Demand for New Zealand’s kiwi dollar was dented after a report showed retail sales rose less than forecast in the fourth quarter.

The lending report “allays concern about a slowing in economic growth as China is still a credit-driven economy,” said Ray Attrill, the global co-head of currency strategy at National Australia Bank in Sydney. “These numbers provide some confidence that growth is still ticking along, and are good for the Aussie, kiwi and emerging-market currencies.”

The Australian dollar gained 0.2 percent to 90.56 U.S. cents as of 5:09 p.m. in Sydney and touched 90.69, the highest level since Jan. 13. It was little changed at 92.01 yen. Australia’s bonds fell. The three-year yield rose four basis points to 2.99 percent and the 10-year rate gained to 4.16 percent from 4.11 on Feb. 14.

The kiwi advanced 0.1 percent to 83.73 U.S. cents and slipped 0.1 percent to 85.06 yen.

Aggregate financing, the broadest measure of credit, was 2.58 trillion yuan ($425 billion), the People’s Bank of China said in a Feb. 15 statement. New local-currency lending was 1.32 trillion yuan, the highest level since 2010.

New Zealand’s fourth-quarter retail sales volumes rose 1.2 percent from the previous three months, Statistics New Zealand said today. That compares with the median forecast for a 1.7 percent gain.

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