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Which currencies will outperform, as Aussie slips from highs

mountain in New Zealand capped with snow

The Australian dollar breached US76c, but slipped lower on Wednesday.

Southeast Asian currencies look poised to outperform their northern peers as commodity prices remain elevated and tourist arrivals rebound, according to Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, reports Bloomberg.

The currencies of Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia stand to benefit as tourism accounts for a bigger proportion of these economies, Goldman strategists including Danny Suwanapruti wrote in an April 3 note. Bank of America also likes the Thai baht and Malaysian ringgit while Australia & New Zealand Banking Group favours the Singapore dollar and Indonesian rupiah.

The S&P/ASX 200 dropped as much as 1.1% in the morning session on Wednesday, but recovered some ground into the close.

Asia markets are falling and the NZX 50 closed lower.

US futures are edging down.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.8%, the S&P 500 was down 1.26%, and Nasdaq declined 2.26%.

News from the ASX

Syrah will install a solar and battery hybrid power system at its Balama graphite mine in Mozambique, taking advantage of the high solar irradiation potential of the site location. The Solar Battery System is scheduled to be commissioned and operating before the end of the March 2023 quarter, supplying about 35% of the site's power requirements. Cost savings of about $US8 a tonne at a 15,000 tonnes per month production rate are expected.

IGO might be preparing to boost its $1.1bn offer for Western Areas. IGO had agreed to buy the business for $3.36 a share but since the initial offer, nickel price volatility has sent the stock up to $3.65 a share. An expert review apparently said the initial IGO bid undervalued the company. Western Areas is in a trading halt, pending an update on the transaction.

BGH Capital made an $8 a share unconditional bid for Virtus Health, after Virtus has already recommended an $8.10 a share offer from rival buyout firm CapVest, reduced to $7.98 a share post dividend, or $8.25 via a scheme of arrangement.

ASX-listed Air New Zealand's 2 for 1 pro rata renounceable rights offer to raise $NZ1.2bn as part of its recapitalisation plan is now open. The airline says the offer will remain open until 5pm (NZST)/3pm (AEST) on May 2. Eligible shareholders will receive one right to subscribe for 2 New Shares at the offer price of NZ53c (or 49c) per new share.

AUD/USD US75.73c

WTI currently US$102.87 a barrel

Brent crude oil US$109.54 a barrel

Spot gold US$1921.10 an ounce

Bitcoin US$45,303


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