Australian, NZ dollars dodge downside risk as greenback dips

The Aussie was hovering at $0.7104 having bounced from support in the $0.7004/7018 zone early in the week

  
Australian dollars are seen in an illustration photo February 8, 2018.

Australian dollars are seen in an illustration photo February 8, 2018.

REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

SYDNEY: The Australian and New Zealand dollars won a reprieve from recent selling on Thursday as the U.S. currency came in for fire of its own, helping both dodge what would have been damaging breaks of chart support.

The Aussie was hovering at $0.7104 having bounced from support in the $0.7004/7018 zone early in the week, a bulwark that also held firm in September. Resistance comes in at $0.7136 and $0.7170.

The kiwi dollar followed much the same track to stand at $0.6642 and was up from the $0.6551 low touched on Tuesday. It faces stiff resistance at the October top of $0.6682 and remains well short of the September high at $0.6797.

The rallies owed more to a pullback in the U.S. dollar than anything home-made, with the Aussie still vulnerable to further policy easing from the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Markets are wagering heavily the central bank will cut rates to just 0.1% in early November, from the current 0.25% and expand its bond buying to the longer-term debt.

Dealers are talking of around A$100 billion in five- to 10-year bonds as an initial target.

Yields on 10-year paper had dropped sharply to seven-month lows of 0.726% in anticipation, though they jumped to 0.809% overnight as U.S. Treasuries sold off.

Treasuries have come under pressure from speculation a lot more fiscal stimulus, and borrowing, lies ahead should the Democrats win the presidency and control of the Senate in coming elections.

Yet such an outcome could be positive for the outlook for global growth, and thus commodity-linked currencies such as the Aussie.

"We expect an improvement in risk appetite post the election and more aggressive Fed easing, undermining the U.S. dollar multi-month," analysts at Westpac wrote in a note.

"The RBA is still not attracted to negative rates and Australia's historically large trade surpluses provide some insulation. We retain our $0.75 year-end target for AUD."

Shorter-dated Australian bonds remained well supported with the market all but certain the RBA will soon trim its target for three-year yields to 0.10%.

Three-year bond futures YTTc1 were steady at 99.830, just off an all-time peak of 99.845.

(Editing by Sam Holmes) ((Wayne.Cole@thomsonreuters.com; 612 9171 7144; Reuters Messaging: wayne.cole.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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