Stepping up verbal intervention may be the Reserve Bank of Australia’s only option to curb the Aussie as strengthening economic data and a neutral policy stance drive the currency toward a three-month high.
Asian stocks advanced, with the regional benchmark gauge ending at a six-week high, as telecommunications companies led gains. Japanese shares rose after the yen weakened and an advisory committee said the world’s largest pension fund doesn’t need a domestic-bond focus.
Australia’s dollar climbed to the strongest in more than a week after data today showed the January trade surplus widened to the most in 2 1/2 years and retail sales rose three times faster than economists forecast.
BHP Billiton Ltd. offers a dividend return twice as high as Australia’s one-year bond yield, underpinning the strongest rally in stocks in seven months as the nation’s sovereign debt slumps to the world’s biggest loss.
Record payments to dairy farmers and a China-led trade turnaround added to evidence New Zealand will outpace developed-world peers this year, cementing bets the central bank will raise interest rates in two weeks.
The rupiah fell after Bank Indonesia said the tender will stabilize after rallying this year, and before data that some analysts are expecting will show the trade balance swung to a shortfall in January.