The Australian and New Zealand dollars dropped against their major peers as traders raised bets that both countries’ central banks will cut interest rates next month.
The Aussie extended its retreat from a two-month high reached Friday as minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) July meeting released Tuesday showed policy makers kept their options open and reiterated that a higher currency could complicate adjustments in the economy.
The kiwi sank to its lowest in three weeks as the Reserve Bank of New Zealand moved to rein in a housing boom, paving the way for lower borrowing costs. The yen gained, after earlier touching the weakest level since June 24, when the “Leave” victory in the U.K. referendum was announced.
“The very tight timeline proposed for implementing the added restrictions reinforces the likelihood of the RBNZ cutting in August, especially following softer New Zealand second-quarter inflation,” said Elias Haddad, a senior currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney. “RBA July meeting minutes left the door open to more rate cuts, which is weighing on Aussie.”
The Australian dollar fell 1% to 75.19 U.S. cents as of 6:46 a.m. in London, after reaching 76.76 on Friday for the first time since May 3. The kiwi dropped 1.2% to 70.31 U.S. cents, after touching 70.14, a level unseen since 28 June.
New Zealand’s dollar has fallen 3.7% over the past five days, the most among major currencies. The Aussie is the second-worst performer, sliding 1.3%.
Swaps traders are pricing in a 56% chance of lower Australian interest rates at the 2 August meeting, and a 77% probability of a cut in New Zealand rates on 11 August.
“The run up in the Aussie from 73 cents to 76 cents post-Brexit has been largely driven by an improvement in risk sentiment,” said Rodrigo Catril, a currency strategist at National Australia Bank Ltd. in Sydney. “The move is running out of steam
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