AUD Upset by Market Tumult, RBA Tries to Staunch Bond Bleeding

SYDNEY, Feb 26 Reuters The Australian dollar was sent reeling from multiyear peaks on Friday as a rout in bond markets spread to other risk assets, spurring the countrys central bank to intervene to stem a savage selloff in government debt.

The Aussie had been flying high overnight as it cleared the 0.8000 barrier for the first time since early 2018, but gravity returned with a bump when world stock markets took fright.

That left the currency flat at 0.7860, from a top of 0.8007, having shed 1.2 late on Thursday. It also wiped out the weeks gains and put pressure on support around 0.7820.

The New Zealand dollar suffered a similar fate, lapsing to 0.7369 from a 312 year high of 0.7463. It was still up 0.8 for the week, having found solid support at 0.7310.

Still, the pullback was nothing compared to bonds, where markets saw some of the biggest price declines in years.

At one stage Australian 10year bond futures were down as much as 23 ticks at an 11month trough of 98.0450, before bouncing to 98.2600. That still left them nursing losses of 30 ticks for the week, the sharpest drop since mid2015.

Cash yields spiked as far as 1.970, levels unseen since April 2019, before easing to 1.74. Again, they were still up a steep 32 basis points on the week.

The selling pressure became so intense the Reserve Bank of Australia RBA launched an unscheduled offer to buy A3 billion 2.36 billion in threeyear debt. That seemed to calm markets a little and threeyear yields eased back to…

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