SYDNEY: The Australian and New Zealand dollars were ending flat for the week on Friday after failing to clear major chart barriers, while Australia faced economic headwinds from a coronavirus lockdown and a diplomatic row with China.
The Aussie eased to $0.6947, having stretched to a four-week top of $0.7001 overnight before the mood turned chilly. It has support at $0.6925/30 but needs to clear the June peak of $0.7069 to trigger another leg of a four-month uptrend.
The kiwi dollar faded to $0.6553 after briefly cracking resistance at $0.6585 to reach $0.6600 for the first time since late January. Support lies at $0.6520.
The Aussie has run into economic resistance as a renewed outbreak of coronavirus at home shut down the country's second largest city, while increasing tensions with China threatened trade with it's single biggest export market.
Bond markets were ending the week on a positive note as US 10-year Treasury yields celebrated their lowest close since mid-April amid strong auction demand.
Debt sales in Australia have also drawn solid demand all week, with a 2023 offering on Friday drawing bids worth 5 times the amount on offer. Yields on 10-year paper dropped 4 basis points to 0.86%.
China reacted angrily on Thursday to Australia's decision to suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and moves to attract businesses from the Asian financial hub.
Beijing has already taken action against some Australian goods including beef and barley, while cautioning students not to study in Australia.
"There is a risk that Australia's tourism and education exports to China don't recover once the borders are reopened as Chinese authorities have warned citizens from travelling to Australia," said CBA economist Kristina Clifton.
She estimated a complete collapse in Chinese tourism and student numbers would subtract 0.5 percentage points from annual gross domestic product growth.
Yet it might be possible to replace much of that lost spending by attracting students and tourists from other countries including India, Nepal, Brazil and Vietnam.
Likewise, any Chinese hit to Australia's coal and farm exports could be offset by finding markets elsewhere, argued Clifton.
Also there was no sign the tensions were affecting Australia's single biggest export to China - iron ore. Data from Port Hedland on Friday showed Australia shipped a record amount of the ore to China in June.