(Reuters) - The Australian dollar pulled up from a two-month low and the yen weakened on Wednesday, after better-than-expected Chinese trade numbers eased some concern about slowing growth in the world's second-largest economy.
A big underperformer was the New Zealand dollar, which took a hit after
the head of the country's central bank said it had intervened to try and
restrain the strength of the currency.
Data showing that China's exports
and imports grew more than expected in April from a year earlier helped support
the Australian dollar and weighed on the yen, although doubts remained about the
strength of real demand.
The Aussie dollar is sensitive to economic data
out of China, Australia's biggest export destination.
dollar last fetched $1.0182, steady on the day.
Still, that was up from
a two-month low of $1.0155 set this week after the Reserve Bank of Australia
reduced the cash rate by a quarter point to a record low 2.75 percent on
Tuesday, and left the door open to more easing.
Against the yen, the
Aussie dollar held steady at 100.83 yen , up from an intraday low of about
"The Australian dollar bounced a bit, as the bias had been
completely toward the downside and there had been some accumulation of (short)
positions," said Hiroshi Maeba, head of FX trading Japan for UBS in Tokyo,
referring to the Aussie dollar's reaction to the Chinese trade data.
That helped lend support to cross/yen pairs and the U.S. dollar versus
the yen as well, Maeba said.
There has also been some dollar buying by
Japanese importers and traders taking fresh long positions in the greenback, but
the dollar could also start to see some options-related offers on the top side,
The U.S. dollar inched up 0.1 percent to 99.05 yen, having
rebounded from an intraday low near 98.64 yen.
On the dollar's downside,
there are said to be some stop-loss dollar offers near 98.50 yen, said a trader
for a Japanese bank in Singapore.
The greenback, which hit a four-year
high of 99.95 yen in April after the Bank of Japan unveiled its drastic monetary
stimulus, has met stiff resistance near the psychologically key 100 yen level.
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR
The New Zealand dollar was down 0.6 percent
at $0.8401 , having dropped to as low as $0.8360 earlier on Wednesday.
The kiwi dollar fell after the Royal Bank of New Zealand said it had
been selling the currency to limit its strength.
"There has been
intervention," RBNZ Governor Graeme Wheeler told a parliamentary committee.
No details were given on the timing of the currency market operations
but deputy governor Grant Spencer added: "It will become evident in the data, in
our balance sheet."
Elsewhere, the euro edged up 0.1 percent to about
$1.3088 , with the near-term focus on German industrial production data coming
up later in the day.
Analysts at BNP Paribas suspect the euro has room
to rise, believing a strong reading on German industrial orders released on
Tuesday has probably reduced the risks of a downside surprise for today's German
"We think risk-reward remains attractive for EUR
longs heading into the data," they wrote in a note.