SYDNEY, June 21 Reuters The Australian and New Zealand dollars edged higher on Monday, taking a breather after recent losses made against the greenback, which has been buoyed by hawkish comments from the Federal Reserve last week.
But both currencies remained near their lowest since late last year after the Federal Reserve last week projected an accelerated timetable for rate increases in the worlds largest economy.
The Australian dollar edged 0.21 higher to 0.7494 but was not far from a sixmonth low of 0.7482 hit on Friday. A 5 drop in the price of iron ore, Australias top export, also kept pressure on the currency.
The New Zealand dollar firmed 0.29 to 0.6954, having hit a sevenmonth low of 0.6923 on Friday. The kiwi shed 2.7 last week in its worst performance since September.
The Feds hawkish surprise last week has been the dominant event for currencies, and … more tightening from the Fed can be priced in, said Westpac strategists in a note.
Until we get a better sense of Fed taper tightening intentions, we could see the current move extend towards the 0.740025 level.
At home, Australian retail sales rose less than expected in May, with a snap coronavirus lockdown in the countrys second most populous state of Victoria hurting demand, preliminary data showed on Monday.
Australias economy has recovered from the COVID19 fallout as the government has been largely successful in curbing the coronavirus pandemic but small outbreaks in different parts of the…