Commodity currencies including the Australian dollar, South Africa’s rand and the Brazilian real are surging as traders focus on the potential for a gradual cycle of U.S. interest-rate increases and ignore a rout in raw material prices.
New Zealand’s dollar led gains on Thursday, when the greenback fell against its 16 major peers as minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s October meeting signaled a shallow path for any rate increases next year. The Aussie is poised for back-to-back weekly advances, with traders paying the smallest premium on options to protect against weakness in the currency in more than a year even as iron ore, Australia’s chief export, dropped to a four-month low.
The Aussie traded at 71.87 U.S. cents as of 9:18 a.m. in Tokyo from 71.94 on Thursday, poised for a 0.8 percent advance this week. New Zealand’s dollar fetched 65.59 U.S. cents after climbing 1.5 percent to 65.66 in the previous session. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the greenback versus 10 peers, was little changed at 1,228.70 after declining 0.7 percent on Thursday, the biggest drop since Oct. 14.