Australia, New Zealand Dollars Gain

The Australian and New Zealand dollars advanced a fourth day, the longest winning streak in more than two months, as gains in U.S. stocks and China’s biggest rate cut in 11 years spur investors to buy higher-yielding assets.

The currencies also rose as the European Union unveiled a $259 billion stimulus proposal and prices increased for commodities that account for more than half of Australia and New Zealand’s exports.

Australia’s currency rose 1 percent to 65.43 U.S. cents as of 7:40 a.m. in Sydney from 64.78 cents late in Asia yesterday. The currency advanced 1.6 percent to 62.63 yen.

New Zealand’s dollar gained 0.9 percent to 55.34 U.S. cents from 54.88 in Asia yesterday. It bought 52.97 yen from 52.22.

The currencies advanced as the Standard & Poor’s 500 index posted its longest streak of gains since May. Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., the biggest U.S. oil companies, were among the biggest contributors to the advance as crude traded above $50 a barrel for a third day. The UBS Bloomberg Constant Maturity Commodity index of 26 raw materials advanced 2.5 percent.,
11/26/2008 3:23:26 PM