SYDNEY, June 2 Reuters The Australian and New Zealand dollars were locked within tight ranges on Wednesday as upbeat domestic data and strength in global commodity prices failed to break the forex markets recent lethargy.
News that the state of Victoria had extended its coronavirus lockdown for another seven days also overshadowed the better data and came as a blow to the Aussie.
The Aussie was stuck at 0.7765, still comfortably above last weeks trough of 0.7677. But it again shied away from stiff resistance at 0.7796 and 0.7813, barriers which have held for the past three weeks.
Traders said large option positions seemed to be boxing it in as investors wagered on more sideways drift.
The kiwi was idling at 0.7260, above support at 0.72157230 but short of resistance at 0.7290. It needs to clear the recent threemonth peak of 0.7316 to gain momentum.
Australian figures showed the economy expanded by a healthy 1.8 in the first quarter, taking gross domestic product GDP back above prepandemic levels. It also sets up the current quarter for annual growth of 10 or more.
That will be welcome by the Reserve Bank of Australia RBA but was already built into its forecasts on Tuesday when it reiterated that no rate hike was likely until at least 2024.
As shown by the lockdown in Victoria, there is still some way to go to claim victory, said Craig James, chief economist at CommSec.
Stimulus must remain in place until it is clear that a sustainable recovery has been achieved,…