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AUD, NZD Up for 5th Days in a Row, Set for Strong Gains

SYDNEY, June 25 (Reuters) - The Australian and New Zealand dollars rose for a fifth consecutive session on Friday and were on track for solid weekly takings, as analysts predict further gains in the period ahead led by strong commodity prices and still-buoyant risk appetite.

The Australian dollar was last up 0.1% at $0.7594 after hitting a near six-month trough of $0.7478 earlier this month.

For the week, the Aussie is so far up 1.5%, its best weekly performance since early-May.

The Aussie, a liquid proxy for risk, reached 80 U.S. cents in February led by a global optimism about stronger global economic growth, successful vaccine rollouts in the United States and buoyant commodities prices.

But the gains have since fizzled out led by fresh waves of coronavirus in many countries and subsequent lockdowns, and as Australia’s central bank has reiterated its dovish stance, signalling policy rates will remain at a record low until 2024.

Still, analysts see further upside for the Aussie.

“While market positioning and the poor technical picture generated by the downside range break have to be respected, the fundamental case for a stronger AUD remains intact,” said currency strategists at National Australia Bank.

“Risk sentiment as used in our models has deteriorated only slightly since early-June, while outside of a fall-back in gold prices, commodity prices - oil, industrial metals... still point to AUD higher.”

“We thus continue to forecast higher levels, $0.80 and above, as we go through H2 2022,” they added.

The New Zealand dollar was last at a one-week high of $.7076. For the week, the kiwi was up more than 2% so far, on track for its best weekly showing since November 2020.

The New Zealand economy is expanding at a solid pace having controlled the COVID-19 pandemic through a strict lockdown last year with rates markets now pricing in a rise in New Zealand’s official cash rate next year

New Zealand government bonds eased with yields up 2 basis points at the long-end of the curve.

Australian government bond futures nudged lower too, with the three-year bond contract off 2 ticks at 99.50. The 10-year contract was half a tick lower at 98.425.

(Editing by Uttaresh.V)

Source: Reuters

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