Bloomberg News

Australian, N.Z. Dollars Gain Before Jobs Data as Stocks Rise

October 10, 2011

Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- The Australian and New Zealand dollars rose against the greenback and the yen before an Oct. 13 report projected to show Australian employers added jobs last month for the first time since June.

The Aussie reached above parity with the dollar for the first time since Sept. 22 as a rally in stocks spurred demand for higher-yielding assets. New Zealand’s dollar, nicknamed the kiwi, strengthened as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave themselves three weeks to devise a plan to recapitalize European banks and address the debt crisis in Greece.

“The payroll number takes some of the negativity away from the U.S. economic outlook, but the euro zone will continue to dominate sentiment,” said Imre Speizer, a strategist in Auckland at Westpac Banking Corp., Australia’s second-largest lender. “We should see a risk-on move this week helping the Aussie and kiwi dollars track higher.”

Australia’s dollar rose 2.3 percent to 99.95 U.S. cents at 12:48 p.m. in New York and touched $1.001. The currency added 2.2 percent to 76.63 yen. New Zealand’s dollar gained 1.9 percent to 78.45 U.S. cents and strengthened 1.9 percent to 60.15 yen.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of equities climbed 2.9 percent, while the MSCI World Index gained 2.5 percent.

U.S. payrolls increased by 103,000 in September after a 57,000 gain in August, the Labor Department said on Oct. 7. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of economists called for an increase of 60,000. The jobless rate held at 9.1 percent.

Australian Jobs

Australian employers probably added 10,000 jobs in September, after cutting 9,700 positions in August, the statistics bureau will say this week, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Demand for the Australian and New Zealand currencies was bolstered after Merkel said European leaders will do “everything necessary” to ensure that banks have enough capital. Sarkozy said they would deliver a plan by the Nov. 3 Group of 20 summit.

--With assistance from Catarina Saraiva in New York. Editor: Paul Cox, Greg Storey

To contact the reporter on this story: Candice Zachariahs in Sydney at czachariahs2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Garfield Reynolds at greynolds1@bloomberg.net


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