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Australian dollar on the defensive

The Australian dollar is stuck near multi-year lows as higher US Treasury yields underpin the greenback while pressuring emerging markets and risk sentiment.

The Aussie dollar was looking shaky at 70.55 on Monday, having hit a 32-month trough around 70.42 on Friday.

It didn't get much of a lift from China's decision to free up more money for lending by cutting bank reserve requirements over the weekend.

China is Australia's single biggest export market and anything that supports demand there is considered a positive for the Aussie.

"Policymakers are attempting to cushion China's economic slowdown, but more reflationary measures will likely be necessary for AUD/USD to sustain a meaningful relief rally," said Elias Haddad, a senior currency strategist at CBA.

The move was not enough to stop Chinese blue chips from sliding 3.5 per cent as the market resumed from a week-long holiday.

One complication was that Beijing's policy easing also tended to undermine the yuan, which in turn pressured other emerging currencies to depreciate to keep exports competitive.

That made it a mixed blessing for the Aussie and the kiwi given investors often short both as a liquid proxy for risk in those same emerging markets.

At the same time the US dollar was gaining an ever-wider interest rate advantage as the Federal Reserve stuck with its tightening campaign.

Ten-year Treasury paper currently pays 46 basis points more than Australian debt and 57 basis points over New Zealand paper.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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