March 12, 2012 / 2:01 AM / in 6 years

Aussie, NZ dollars soft on weak Asian stocks, China

WELLINGTON/SYDNEY (Reuters) - The Australian and New Zealand dollars nudged lower on Monday, weighed by weaker Asian bourses following China’s shocking trade deficit over the weekend.

The Australian dollar softer at $1.0538 vs $1.0567 in NY late Friday, having pierced through the Ichimoku cloud top at $1.0545. Next key support seen at $1.0508, last week’s low.

Traders cite selling from macro-funds and Japanese investors, with talk of buying interest around $1.0510-25 and stops below $1.0500.

Still, Antipodeans remarkably resilient to China’s huge $31.5 bln trade deficit, which blew away forecasts of $5 bln deficit, data released on Saturday showed. Aussie and kiwi are extremely sensitive to news out of China, a key export market.

But China’s trade numbers were not all bad, with imports from Australia showing a strong rise. Still, bulls say the terrible reading is further proof China is hitting speed bumps.

Aussie and kiwi were already under pressure on Friday after upbeat U.S. payrolls data sent the USD sharply higher across the board as it lowered chance of further stimulus from the Fed any time soon.

The New Zealand dollar down at $0.8180, from $0.8210 in NY on Friday. Near-term technical support seen at the 55-day moving average around $0.8150.

Not helping the kiwi, dairy giant Fonterra lowered its payout forecast due to declining commodity prices and a stronger domestic currency.

The Aussie down 0.3 pct at NZ$1.2866, flirting with strong technical support around NZ$1.2860/65, which contains its 100- and 200-day moving averages.

Against the yen, the Aussie and kiwi ease but remain within reach of recent multi-month highs. Aussie at 86.55, having climbed to 88.0 yen earlier this month. Kiwi at 67.26 yen.

Kiwi also under pressure as investors shake out excessive bets for more gains. The latest IMM data on speculator positions shows a steep fall in speculators’ long positions last week, and more unwinding may weigh on the currency. <IMM/FX>

Quiet trade in domestic markets due to a light business calendar on both sides of the Tasman. Investors await a U.S. Federal Reserve rate decision on Tuesday, when it is expected to hold back from more quantitative easing.

New Zealand government bond prices edge up, prodding yields down 1.5 basis points across the curve.

Australian debt futures jump, with the three-year contract up 0.085 points to 95.455. The 10-year adds 0.095 points to 96.035, near one-month high of 96.070.

Australia and New Zealand bureaux

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