SYDNEY, July 12 Reuters The Australian dollar eased against the greenback on Monday as a spike in COVID19 cases in Sydney raised the prospect of an extended lockdown, while the New Zealand dollar weakened ahead of data later in the week expected to show milder inflation.
The Aussie was trading 0.31 lower at 0.7468, losing some of the ground recovered by the close on Friday, after it had dropped to a sevenmonth low of 0.7410 earlier that day.
Growing global concerns about the coronavirus Delta variant and ongoing trade tensions with China will likely keep traders wary, analysts said.
The prospect of an extended lockdown in Australias largest city of Sydney loomed on Monday as health officials reported another record daily rise in COVID19 cases for the year, fuelled by the highly infectious Delta variant.
The market seems to be reassessing the extent to which the global economic recovery can continue, particularly with the spread of the Delta variant, ANZ strategists said.
The kiwi dollar was 0.26 lower at 0.6978, losing some of the ground it had recovered by the close on Friday after striking a trough of 0.6923, its lowest since June 18, earlier that day.
Nevertheless, the broad story of NZ outperformance and the possibility of earlier OCR hikes should provide support for New Zealand dollar, ANZ added.
New Zealands central bank on Wednesday is expected to leave its official cash rate at 0.25.
However traders are already pricing a hike in November and 75 basis…