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Australia, NZ Dollars Left Reeling as Longs Get Liquidated

SYDNEY, Nov 25 (Reuters) - The Australian and New Zealand dollars were looking bruised on Thursday after a mass liquidation of long kiwi positions took them both to multi-week lows and threatened breaks of major chart support.

The kiwi was face down at $0.6879 , having led the rout overnight with a 1.1% drubbing to a three-month low of $0.6856. There is still some chart support under $0.6860 ahead of the 2021 trough of $0.6807.

The Aussie was wallowing at $0.7202 , after hitting a seven-week trough of $0.7185 overnight. The retreat pressures major support at the September low of $0.7170, ahead of the low for the whole year at $0.7107.

The slump began on Wednesday when the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) raised rates by only 25 basis points, wrong-footing bulls who had wagered heavily on a half-point hike.

Such was the clean out of long positions that the kiwi even shed 1.2% on the Aussie to touch A$0.9535 , leaving it a long way from last week's top of A$0.9684.

"We see more downside to NZD before year-end," said CBA analyst Joseph Capurso.

"Don't be surprised if it dips below $0.6800 because a lot of good news is already priced into NZD such as an aggressive tightening cycle by the RBNZ and a record high milk payout."

Dairy is the country's biggest export earner and high milk prices have been a major boon for farmers.

The RBNZ's caution was a relief for a hard-hit local bond market, with two-year swap rates down at 2.22% after falling 15 basis points on Wednesday.

Across in Australia, three-year bond futures were off 5 ticks at 98.780 in line with weakness in short-term Treasuries following a round of upbeat U.S. economic data.

Local figures showed business investment fell a much-as-expected 2.2% in the third quarter as lockdowns hit activity, but spending plans remained surprisingly strong as high vaccination rates set to stage for reopening. 

"The strong momentum in the economy, with the reopening and significant stimulus including generous tax cuts, has created an optimistic mood amongst businesses and a willingness to invest," said Westpac senior economist Andrew Hanlan.

Westpac now expects gross domestic product fell 2.5% in the third quarter, a marked improvement from its previous forecast of a 4.0% dive. The GDP data are out on Dec. 1.

Editing by Sam Holmes

Source: Reuters

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