Australia, NZ dlrs Caught out by Oil Spill, Soft Data


SYDNEY, March 19 Reuters The Australian and New Zealand dollars were on the defensive on Friday after a plunge in oil prices spilled over into other commodities, while domestic economic data turned soft and broke a run of strong releases.

A spike in Treasury yields to 14month highs also underpinned the U.S. dollar while slugging local bond markets.

The Aussie eased back to 0.7742, from an overnight top of 0.7849, leaving it flat for the week so far. Resistance remains stiff in the 0.784050 zone, while support lies around 0.7700.

The kiwi dollar lapsed to 0.7154 and away from a peak of 0.7268, leaving it down 0.3 on the week. A break of support at 0.7150 could see a test of the March trough at 0.7100.

Much of the pullback coincided with a 7 slide in oil prices, which dragged on commoditylinked currencies in general.

With crude prices leading commodities lower, the risks of further weakness for the A are clear to see, said analysts at Westpac in a note.

For the kiwi, they noted the 0.7100 area had provided solid support over the past three months. Mediumterm, we remain in a buydip state and target 0.7550 by May.

The Aussie was not helped by data showing retail sales fell 1.1 in February, when analysts had looked for a rise of around 0.4. Spending was again hit by coronavirus lockdowns, this time in Victoria and Western Australia.

That took the shine off Thursdays surprisingly strong jobs report, though analysts assumed sales would bounce back this month as the…

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