Australia's dollar gained for a fifth day against the U.S. dollar and New Zealand's dollar climbed for a second as the UBS Bloomberg Constant Maturity Commodity Index added 1.4 percent. The two currencies may gain versus the yen as investors return to so-called carry trades after Washington Mutual Inc., the largest U.S. savings and loan, rallied the most in almost 25 years on speculation it will get a $5 billion investment.
Australia's currency climbed to 92.63 U.S. cents at 4:35 p.m. in Sydney from 92.43 cents late in Asia yesterday. It traded at 94.87 yen after earlier reaching 95.35 yen, the highest since March 14, compared with 94.77 yen.
Exports of raw materials contribute about 17 percent to Australia's economy.
The Australian dollar is favorites of carry trades because the nations' benchmark interest rates are at 7.25 percent compared with 2.25 percent in the U.S. and 0.5 percent in Japan.