Aussie, Kiwi Reach 11-Week High on Outlook for Exports to China


Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The Australian and New Zealand dollars rose to an 11-week high versus their U.S. counterpart after China’s economy grew more than forecast, adding to signs the country will grow enough to support demand for the South Pacific nations’ exports.

The Aussie and New Zealand’s currency, nicknamed the kiwi, advanced versus most major peers as global stocks rose. They remained higher as a report showed manufacturing in the New York region climbed this month, adding to signs of a U.S. recovery.

Today’s Chinese data “certainly allays fears that China is going to see a hard landing, and that is generally seen as a positive for the world,” said Jonathan Cavenagh, a currency strategist at Westpac Banking Corp. in Singapore. “It’s hard to get too downbeat in the near term” about the Australian and New Zealand dollars, he said.

Australia’s currency appreciated 0.8 percent to $1.0392 at 12:01 p.m. New York time. It touched $1.0450 earlier, the strongest level since Nov. 1. The Aussie rallied 0.8 percent to 79.81 yen. It rose 0.2 percent to 81.58 euro cents, after earlier reaching a record high 81.77 euro cents.

New Zealand’s dollar advanced 0.9 percent to 80.05 U.S. cents and touched 80.31 cents, also the highest since Nov. 1. The kiwi strengthened 0.9 percent to 61.47 yen.

China is Australia’s biggest trading partner and New Zealand’s second-largest export destination. China’s gross domestic product expanded 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said in Beijing today. That compared with an 8.7 percent median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of economists.

The MSCI World Index of equities gained 1 percent and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.98 percent.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index increased to 13.5, the highest level since April, from a revised 8.2 in December. Economists in a Bloomberg survey projected a rise to 11. Readings higher than zero signal expansion among companies in the Empire State Index.

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