Money Australia, New Zealand dollars underpinned by upbeat China manufacturing activity

05:26  03 january  2018
05:26  03 january  2018 Source:   Reuters

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SYDNEY, Jan 2 (Reuters) - The Australian and New Zealand dollars held firm on Tuesday as an unexpectedly upbeat survey of Chinese manufacturing activity and broad softness in their U.S. counterpart augured well for Antipodean commodity exports.

[SYDNEY] The Australian and New Zealand dollars held firm on Tuesday as an unexpectedly upbeat survey of Chinese manufacturing activity and broad softness in their US counterpart augured well for Antipodean commodity exports.

FILE PHOTO: Illustration photo of an Australia Dollar note© REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/File Photo FILE PHOTO: Illustration photo of an Australia Dollar note The Australian and New Zealand dollars held firm on Tuesday as an unexpectedly upbeat survey of Chinese manufacturing activity and broad softness in their U.S. counterpart augured well for Antipodean commodity exports.

The Aussie dollar (AUD=D4) made a two-month top of $0.7827 before running into resistance. The next chart targets are $0.7884 and $0.7898, both peaks from October. The kiwi held at $0.7102 (NZD=D4), just off last week's high at $0.7124.

Helping sentiment was a Caixin survey of Chinese manufacturing which showed a surprise pick-up in activity in December even as Beijing pursued a crackdown on industrial pollution.

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The news was taken as positive for continued Chinese demand for commodities, which has supported prices in recent months. Prices for iron ore, Australia's single biggest export earner, were holding above $70 a tonne having been down around $50 in mid-2017.

Likewise, copper (CMCU3) climbed 31 percent in 2017 to a four-year top, while aluminium (CMAL3) amassed gains of 34 percent. China is the world's largest consumer of industrial metals and accounts for nearly half of global copper demand.

Prices for coal and liquefied natural gas, two more major Australian exports, were also buoyed by Asian demand.

"In a year of continued, perhaps improving, synchronised global growth the Aussie should benefit," said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at CFD and FX provider AxiTrader.

"A weaker, or stronger, U.S. dollar also feeds into commodity prices which in turn feed into the Aussie."

Australian government bond futures eased a touch in the wake of the China news, with the three-year bond contract (YTTc1) off 2.5 ticks at 97.815. The 10-year contract (YTCc1) lost 2 ticks to 97.3200.

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Australian shares extended losses to a second session on Thursday, led by declines in financials, after a report that China may dial down purchases of U.S. government debt rattled Wall Street. The S&P/ASX 200 index (.AXJO) fell 0.5 percent, or 29.1 points, to 6,067.60. The benchmark lost 0.6 percent in the previous session.The three major indexes on Wall Street snapped a six-session rally on Wednesday as investors grew jittery after Bloomberg reported that China, the world's biggest foreign holder of U.S. Treasuries, could slow or halt U.S. government bond purchases. [.N]Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ.

Source: http://au.pressfrom.com/news/money/-51056-australia-new-zealand-dollars-underpinned-by-upbeat-china-manufacturing-activity/

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