AUD, NZD Weaker but Within Range Amid Commodities Selloff

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SYDNEY, May 21 Reuters The Australian and New Zealand dollars were lower on Friday, taking their lead from iron ore and mining stocks that have been hit after Beijing vowed to stabilise commodities prices.

The commodityprice sensitive Aussie was trading 0.23 lower at 0.7754, having started the week at 0.7787 but far from its monthly low of 0.753. It remains short of its May high of 0.7891.

The New Zealand dollar was also a quarter of a percent lower at 0.7183, trading at or below its previous day close of 0.7202 for most of the session.

The AUD remains stuck in a tight range, capped above 0.78 by China trade concerns but supported by a softer US and still strong commodity prices below 0.77, Westpac strategists said.

Steel prices in China have dropped circa 14 over the last week suggesting that official intervention has had a material impact and that iron ore may weaken further. Thus AUD will likely continue trading weak versus the likes of the euro and GBP.

The Aussies weakness came even as a survey of Australian retailers showed strongerthanexpected sales in April, led by a jump in food retailing, in yet another sign the countrys economy is booming.

Asias iron ore benchmarks were sold off on Friday for a third day after Beijing sought more oversight of commodity markets to curb exorbitant prices, pulling shares in mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP also lower.

Analysts, however, say unless China takes steps to curb the consumption of industrial commodities, which…

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