Aussie Hits Eight-Month High as Equity Gains Bolster Confidence

Australia’s dollar climbed to an eight-month high as the currencies of commodity exporters were supported by a rebound in global equities that outweighed signs of a slowdown in China, the largest buyer of raw materials.

The Aussie and kiwi currencies held onto gains from the end of last week and Canada’s loonie pared declines as an index of Asian stocks advanced for a third day on the back of stronger shares in the U.S. and Europe on Friday. The commodity currencies recovered Monday from a retreat that came in early Asian trading after the world’s second-largest economy reported lower-than-forecast retail sales and industrial production on Saturday.

Australia’s dollar rose 0.3 percent to 75.87 U.S. cents as of 12:30 p.m. in Tokyo, while New Zealand’s currency was little changed at 67.52 U.S. cents. The Aussie touched 75.88 cents, the highest since July. Canada’s dollar fell less than 0.1 percent to C$1.3215 per greenback after weakening as much as 0.3 percent.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index of shares jumped 1.2 percent even after data showed China’s industrial output rose 5.4 percent from a year earlier in January and February and retail sales climbed 10.2 percent from a year earlier, readings that were both less than forecast by economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

The kiwi advanced on Thursday and Friday of last week even after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand unexpectedly cut interest rates.

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