Bloomberg News

Aussie, N.Z. Dollars Drop for Week Versus Yen Before EU Summits

October 21, 2011

Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) -- The Australian and New Zealand dollars had the biggest weekly losses against the yen in a month on concern European leaders will struggle to resolve the region’s sovereign debt crisis.

New Zealand’s currency, nicknamed the kiwi, also declined against the U.S. dollar this week as raw material prices fell. Australia’s dollar was little changed for the week against the greenback after a report showing the country’s export prices increased in the third quarter pushed the currency up today.

“It is all about Europe; nothing else matters,” said Kurt Magnus, executive director of currency sales in Sydney at Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan’s biggest brokerage.

The Australian dollar slid 1.4 percent this week to 78.71 yen after gaining 0.2 percent today as of 11:37 a.m. New York time. It was the biggest five-day loss since Sept. 23. The Aussie was little changed for the week at $1.0339 after rising 1 percent today.

New Zealand’s currency fell 1.8 percent this week, also the most since the five days ended Sept. 23, to 61.08 yen. It gained 0.2 percent today. The kiwi gained 1.2 percent today to 80.23 U.S. cents, paring its weekly loss to 0.4 percent.

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 commodities fell 0.3 percent this week.

European leaders began a six-day battle today over how to save Greece from default, shield banks from the fallout, and build more powerful defenses against the debt crisis rocking the 17-nation euro economy.

Rescue Fund Firepower

A falling-out between Germany and France has snagged the effort. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is pushing for a European Central Bank role in boosting the firepower of the 440 billion-euro ($611 billion) rescue fund, a move Germany opposes.

The New Zealand dollar was the biggest loser this week among 10 developed-nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes, dropping 0.8 percent. Australia’s dollar was the second-worst performer, weakening 0.3 percent.

The value of Australian exports rose in the three months through September, a government report showed. The export price index advanced 4 percent from the second quarter, the Bureau of Statistics said. Import prices were unchanged. Economists in a Bloomberg News survey forecast a 3.6 percent gain in exports and a 0.5 percent rise in imports.

The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of raw materials tumbled 1.5 percent this week in its first five-day loss this month.

--With assistance from Allison Bennett in New York. Editors: Greg Storey, Paul Cox

To contact the reporter on this story: Mariko Ishikawa in Tokyo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dave Liedtka at

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