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Australia and New Zealand currencies advance ahead of rate decisions, dollar edges lower

Australia and New Zealand currencies advance ahead of rate decisions, dollar edges lower

A worker pushing a trolley walks with pedestrians past the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) head office in central Sydney, Australia on Mar 7, 2017. (File photo: Reuters/David Gray)

SINGAPORE: The Australian and New Zealand dollars gained ground on Monday (Oct 1) ahead of expected rate hikes from their respective central banks later in the week, while the dollar slipped against a basket of currencies.

The Aussie was up 0.19 per cent to US$0.64, away from a 2-1/2-year low of US$0.64 hit last week, while the kiwi was 0.44 per cent higher at U$0.56, similarly pushing away from last week's trough of US$0.56.

The Reserve Bank of Australia and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand meet on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, with markets expecting both to lift their cash rate by 50 basis points, though the focus will also be on the tone of policymakers.

"The RBA could be quite influential if they give a more nuanced approach and signal that they may come down to 25 basis points in the November meeting. That might be taken, globally, quite well," said Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone.

Sterling fell 0.19 per cent to US$1.11, but remained off its record low of US$1.03.

The pound rebounded strongly at the end of last week when the Bank of England said it would buy as much government debt as needed to restore order after new Prime Minister Liz Truss's tax-cutting plans triggered financial chaos.

But Truss reiterated on Sunday the government was sticking with the policy even as she said the decision was taken by finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng and that her cabinet of top ministers was not informed in advance.

The euro was up 0.11 per cent to US$0.98, supported by expectations for another jumbo European Central Bank rate hike later this month following a red-hot inflation print.

Data on Friday showed that eurozone inflation zoomed past forecasts to hit a new record high of 10 per cent in September, beating expectations for a reading of 9.7 per cent.

"The ECB is still going to have to go hard ... for me, Europe and the UK, it's less about relative interest rate dynamics, and more about growth dynamics," said Weston.

"I think what we're starting to try and do now is look at markets where we can price inflation or start feeling a bit more confident about the trajectory around inflation, I think the US falls into that category."

US non-farm payrolls are due at the end of the week, while a flood of manufacturing PMI data out later on Monday will also give insight into the global economic outlook.

The US dollar index fell 0.12 per cent to 122.10, while the yen firmed at 144.79. Dollar/yen has held steady below the 145 level following an intervention by Japan to shore up the fragile currency.

Source: Reuters/st
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