Aussie falls 1% on fears of China lockdown, Russian oil ban

Aussie falls 1% on fears of China lockdown, Russian oil ban

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Australia's currency fell to a key psychological level Monday due to fears of prolonged lockdowns in China and a stronger dollar clobbered demand for the risk sensitive asset.

The Aussie dropped as much as 1% in early Asia trading to the lowest since January 31 - just above the closely watched 70 U.S. cents level. The dollar has plunged more than 8% against the dollar since its year-to-date high in April, as traders bet on a slowing Chinese economy and Federal Reserve hikes that are faster than those at home.

Over the weekend, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang warned of a complicated and grave employment situation as Beijing and Shanghai tightened restrictions on residents in a bid to contain Covid outbreaks in the country's most important cities. The rolling out of even more stringent restrictions adds to the challenges facing policymakers who are trying to shore up growth.

The Aussie will be weighed down by growing concerns about the Chinese economy and a stronger dollar, Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd. strategists including Joseph Capurso wrote in a note. The deteriorating situation in China's economy will be a significant factor in the future of the currency, including the Australian dollar.

The fate of the currency has split investors with fast-money funds turning bullish and their more institutional peers doubling down on bearish wagers last week.

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