SYDNEY, July 19 Reuters The Australian dollar on Monday hit its lowest level against the greenback for 2021 as COVID19 lockdowns that have restricted the mobility of almost half of the countrys population were extended to stop the spread of Delta variant. Risk aversion in the region also pushed the kiwi dollar lower.
The Aussie was 0.17 lower at 0.7385, as simultaneous lockdowns in Australias two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, which account for the bulk of the countrys economic output and employment, hurt investor sentiment.
That is the Aussies lowest level since July 12, 2020, despite commodity prices that remain near multiyear highs, and is far from the currencys February high of 0.80.
The risksensitive kiwi was also trading 0.09 lower on Monday at 0.6993, despite the hawkish outlook tabled by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand last week when it announced it would halt its bond buying stimulus programme, pushing the currency as high as 0.7050.
The commodity story remains impeccable … however, the prospect of further USD strength over the northern hemisphere summer, growing global concerns about the delta variant, more aggressive lockdowns across Australia … plus ongoing trade tension between China and Australia should keep markets wary, Westpac analysts said.
Nearly half of Australias population of 25 million has been confined to their homes with Sydney, the countrys largest city, in a fiveweek lockdown, and all of Victoria state under stayathome rules,…