Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s dollar was worth more than its U.S. counterpart by the most in three weeks as global stocks rose amid increased demand for riskier assets.
The Aussie gained against the yen after data showed that home-loan approvals rose for a fifth month, adding to signs the domestic economy remains resilient. New Zealand’s currency, nicknamed the kiwi, rose against the dollar and yen as a gauge of house prices rose to a 22-month high.
“The housing financing data probably helped the Aussie at the margin,” said Jonathan Cavenaugh, a Singapore-based senior currency strategist at Westpac Banking Corp.
Australia’s dollar advanced 2.3 percent to $1.0177 U.S. cents at 11:23 a.m. New York time, after sliding 0.9 percent earlier. It gained 3.2 percent to 78.71 yen from yesterday, when it fell 0.4 percent. New Zealand’s dollar strengthened 2.2 percent to 79.71 U.S. cents and 3.1 percent to 61.63 yen.
The MSCI World index of shares rose 1.6 percent and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 1.4 percent.
The number of loans granted to build or buy houses and apartments in Australia gained 1.2 percent in August from July, when they increased a revised 1.9 percent, the statistics bureau said in Sydney today. Economists had predicted a 1 percent advance, according to a Bloomberg News survey.
New Zealand home prices increased in September to the highest since November 2009, according to an index by the Real Estate Institute. House sales climbed to 5,235 from 5,192 in August, the Auckland-based institute said.
--With assistance from Catarina Saraiva in New York. Editors: Paul Cox, Dave Liedtka
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