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Australia dlr Eases, Poised for Weekly Loss; NZ$ Down too

SYDNEY, Feb 5 (Reuters) - The Australian dollar slipped on Friday and was on track for a small weekly loss led by a pull-back in global risk sentiment and on comments by the country’s top central banker that interest rates will stay low for a long time to come.

The Australian dollar was last at $0.7595 after going as high as $0.7648 on Thursday.

The kiwi dollar too was off slightly at $0.7148 after rising to $0.7225 the previous day.

The antipodean currencies are looking at weekly losses.

The Aussie is so far down 0.6% this week while the kiwi has lost 0.5% of its value.

Analysts expect the currencies to meander a bit in the near-term led by better U.S. economic data in recent weeks and with fiscal stimulus set to provide additional support.

“The AUD has lost some of its lustre in recent weeks as elevated volatility and softer industrial data took the wind out of the global reflation trade,” ANZ economists said.

“We think the prospects of a vaccine-driven recovery and policy that remains patient suggests that dips will be shallow, while the medium-term path remains higher.”

Earlier, Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor reiterated the central bank will keep rates near zero until inflation reaches its medium-term target of 2-3% even though the economy has done better than expected in recent months.

The RBA this week left its cash rate at a record low 0.1%, but surprised by extending its quantitative easing programme by another A$100 billion ($76.01 billion) from mid-April.

Bond futures rallied on Friday, with the 10-year contract up 3 ticks at 98.795.

Yields on New Zealand 10-year bonds have shot to their highest since the market mayhem of last March at 1.41%, having climbed almost 25 basis points in just a week.

Yields have been on the rise since the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) trimmed the amount of bonds it would buy this week, and took off on Wednesday when local jobs data proved far stronger than forecast.

On Friday, New Zealand government bonds were little change with yields up half a basis point across the curve.

(Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Source: Reuters

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