AUD, NZD Find Support in Higher Yields, Commodities


SYDNEY, Feb 19 Reuters The Australian and New Zealand dollars were aiming for a steady end to a choppy week on Friday with sharply higher bond yields and rising commodity prices keeping both underpinned.

The Aussie idled at 0.7768 and was barely changed on the week having been corralled between support at 0.7725 and resistance around 0.7805.

The kiwi dollar edged ahead to 0.7213, but again was flat for the week. Again, a break of 0.7159 support or 0.7269 resistance is needed to trigger a major move.

The Aussie was supported by rising commodity prices as China returned from holiday, with copper the highest in eight years and tin at a nineyear peak.

Iron ore, Australias single biggest export earner, surged above 170 a tonne and is delivering a windfall to mining profit and government tax revenue.

So the commodity story remains supersupportive, said Westpac head of foreign exchange strategy Richard Franulovich. We still tend to see a period of consolidation near term for the A in a 0.76 to 0.78 range given the modest US uptrend.

However, we would use dips back to and through 0.760050 as an opportunity to buy.

Less helpful was data showing retail sales rose only 0.6 in January, when analysts had hoped for a gain of 2. The miss was largely due to a sharp fall in Queensland where a coronavirus lockdown in Brisbane kept shoppers at home.

While currencies have been confined, bonds took a drubbing this week as investors hedged against the risk of faster global inflation…

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