October 11, 2018 / 3:49 AM / in 9 days

Australia, NZ dlrs shoved to sidelines as stocks slide

SYDNEY, Oct 11 (Reuters) - The Australian and New Zealand dollars nursed losses on the yen and euro on Thursday as a slide in global share markets sent skittish investors scampering to safe havens.

That left the Aussie and kiwi strangely steady on the U.S. dollar as investors favoured currencies from regions with sizable current account surpluses.

The Aussie actually edged up a fraction to $0.7073, though that followed a retreat from $0.7130 overnight. The kiwi likewise added 0.3 percent to $0.6467, having fallen back from $0.6496 on Wednesday.

The U.S. dollar was hampered in part by a pullback in Treasury yields, with the 10-year off at 3.15 percent from a seven-year top of 3.26 percent touched earlier in the week.

The Aussie had less luck on the euro which reached its highest since August 2015 at A$1.6358, having gained 0.8 percent overnight.

The Aussie also lost 1.2 percent on the yen before steadying somewhat around 79.30 yen on Thursday.

“AUD/JPY was hit hard by the tumult in equity prices, as usual,” said Joseph Capurso, a senior currency strategist at CBA. “It has further downside if U.S. earnings season - which has only just begun - is a bad one for equity prices.”

The S&P 500 suffered its largest one-day fall since February and stocks across Asia were all under water.

Eyes were now on U.S. inflation data due later Thursday where a high reading would likely add to the risk of a more aggressive tightening by the Federal Reserve and sour risk sentiment yet further.

At home, Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Assistant Governor Luci Ellis underlined the need for low interest rates to help the economy absorb spare capacity in the labour market.

Rates have been at a record low of 1.5 percent since mid-2016, and the bank has indicated they will remain there for some time yet.

New Zealand government bonds benefited from the rush to safe havens, pushing yields down 2 to 4 basis points.

Australian government bond futures also rallied, with the three-year bond contract up 3 ticks at 97.890. The 10-year contract added 4 ticks to 97.2700. (Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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