Australia’s dollar headed for its biggest gain in four weeks after a government report showed exports added more to the economy in the first quarter than analysts forecast.
The Aussie was the biggest gainer among the U.S. currency’s 16 major counterparts after the statistics bureau said net exports contributed 1.1 percentage points to gross domestic product, more than the 0.7 point increase forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
Australia’s dollar gained for a second day after data also showed building approvals unexpectedly rose in April. New Zealand’s currency halted a two-day slide.
“It’s quite a strong set of results,” said Joseph Capurso, a senior currency strategist in Sydney at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “It does reduce the chances that the RBA cuts rates next week. It’s going to support Aussie for a little while longer.”
The Aussie rose 0.8 percent to 72.40 U.S. cents as of 12:39 p.m. in Sydney from Monday, heading for the biggest gain since May 2. The kiwi advanced 0.5 percent to 67.26 U.S. cents, after losing 0.7 percent in the past two days.
The Reserve Bank of Australia unexpectedly cut its benchmark to a record 1.75 percent on May 3, and there’s a 66 percent chance it will lower it at least once more by the year-end, interest-rate swaps indicate. The central bank will set rates again on June 7.