Investing.com - The Australian and New Zealand dollars rose to fresh highs against the U.S. dollar on Monday as Friday’s soft U.S. employment report for December raised doubts over how quickly the Federal Reserve will roll back its stimulus program.
AUD/USD hit highs of 0.9073, the strongest since December 12 and was last up 0.72% to 0.9060.
The pair was likely to find support at 0.8984, the session low and resistance at 0.9100.
The U.S. dollar remained under pressure amid expectations that Friday’s nonfarm payrolls data would prompt the Fed to maintain loose monetary policy for some time to come.
The U.S. economy added 74,000 jobs in December, the smallest increase since January 2011 and well below expectations for 196,000 new jobs.The unemployment rate fell to a five year low of 6.7% from 7% in November, but this was due in part to people dropping out of the labor force.
The weak data sparked concerns that the Fed will adopt a more cautious approach to scaling back its stimulus program, after cutting it by USD10 billion in December, reducing it to USD75 billion-a-month.
The Australian dollar dropped to three-and-a-half year lows against the greenback last month after Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens said he would prefer the currency to be closer to 85 U.S. cents in order to support the economy.
The Aussie was boosted after data released on Monday pointed to growing demand in the housing sector.
The number of home loan approvals rose 1.1% in November and were 15.3% higher from a year earlier, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.
Meanwhile, NZD/USD rose as high as 0.8378, the highest level since November 20, and was last up 0.68% to 0.8358.
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