The Australian and New Zealand dollars fell versus their U.S. counterpart as data showed growth slowed in U.S. services industries, damping demand for higher-yielding assets before a report that may say U.S. payrolls rose in April.
The South Pacific dollars slumped as stock and raw-material prices dropped, reducing demand for currencies of commodity- exporting countries. The kiwi, as New Zealand’s dollar is called, weakened against all of its 16 most-traded counterparts after the nation’s unemployment rate unexpectedly rose.
The Aussie dollar fell 0.7 percent to $1.0264 yesterday in New York and reached $1.0240, its lowest level since April 11. It lost 0.6 percent to 82.30 yen.
New Zealand’s dollar slid 1.4 percent to 79.97 U.S. cents and reached 79.88 cents, the weakest since Jan. 17. It fell 1.3 percent to 64.13 yen.
The MSCI World Index (MXWO) of stocks declined 0.6 percent, and the Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of raw materials dropped 0.9 percent.
U.S. employers added 160,000 jobs last month, after a 120,000 increase in March, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey before the Labor Department’s nonfarm payrolls report at today.
The Institute for Supply Management said yesterday its non- manufacturing index fell to a four-month low of 53.5 in April from 56 in March. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was 55.3. A reading above 50 in the Tempe, Arizona-based group’s gauge signals expansion.
New Zealand’s jobless rate climbed to 6.7 percent in the first quarter from a revised 6.4 percent in the previous three months, Statistics New Zealand said.
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