Sept. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s dollar fell for a fourth day against the yen after a report showed the nation’s business confidence slid to the lowest in more than two years.
The so-called Aussie traded 1 percent from a one-month low against its U.S. counterpart as concern that Europe’s debt crisis will worsen sapped demand for higher-yielding assets. Demand for New Zealand’s dollar was curbed after government reports showed manufacturing volumes fell for the first time in three quarters and food prices declined.
“Now that the domestic data is coming out a bit negative, I think there will be some questions ahead on what will happen to the Australian economy,” said Lee Wai Tuck, a currency strategist at Forecast Pte in Singapore. “There’s still a lot of interest to sell the Aussie on rallies and buy the dollar at the moment.”
The Aussie fell 0.7 percent to 79.35 yen as of 2:14 p.m. in New York from 79.90 yen yesterday. It was at $1.0327 from $1.0347 yesterday, when it touched $1.0256, the lowest since Aug. 12. The New Zealand currency traded at 82.50 U.S. cents from 82.32 cents yesterday and slid to 63.38 yen from 63.55 yen.
An index of Australian business confidence slumped to minus 8 in August, the least since April 2009, from 2 in July, according to a National Australia Bank Ltd. survey of more than 500 companies from Aug. 24-30 that was released in Sydney today. The business conditions gauge, a measure of hiring, sales and profits, slid to minus 3 from minus 1.
Forecast’s Lee expects the Australian dollar to fall below parity with the greenback by the end of this month.
Greece’s perceived chance of default in the next five years has soared to 98 percent, credit-default swaps showed. Italy will auction as much as 7 billion euros ($9.6 billion) of bonds today. With a debt load of 1.9 trillion euros -- more than Spain, Greece, Ireland and Portugal combined --Italy remains vulnerable to any rise in borrowing costs.
New Zealand manufacturing sales excluding inflation, a gauge of the volume of production, declined 0.7 percent in the second quarter from three months earlier, when they rose a revised 1.4 percent, Statistics New Zealand said in Wellington today. Food prices dropped 1.3 percent in August from last month, when they gained 2 percent, a separate report showed.
--With assistance from Catarina Saraiva in New York. Editors: Naoto Hosoda, Rocky Swift
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