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Australian, NZ Dollars Weaken On Coronavirus Concerns

The Australian and the New Zealand dollars fell against their major opponents in Asian deals on Friday, as risk sentiment worsened amid worries about the rising number of coronavirus infections in Beijing as well as outside China and its impact on the global economy.

According to Chinese health officials, the death toll in China's novel coronavirus has gone up to 2,236 with 118 more deaths reported, mostly from the hard-hit Hubei province.

South Korea declared a "special management zone" around a southeastern city as health authorities reported 52 new cases of the illness, raising the tally in the country to 156.

The mayor of the southeastern city of Daegu urged the city's 2.5 million people to stay home and wear masks even indoors if possible.

23 people were confirmed to be infected with the new coronavirus in Japan on Thursday, bringing the total number of reported infections to 728.

The aussie fell to an 11-day low of 1.6367 against the euro and a 9-1/2-year low of 0.8740 against the loonie, from its early highs of 1.6289 and 0.8777, respectively. The next possible support for the aussie is seen around 1.66 against the euro and 0.86 against the loonie.

The aussie dropped to near an 11-year low of 0.6592 against the greenback, from a high of 0.6624 hit at 7:30 pm ET. The aussie may challenge support around the 0.62 mark.

The aussie edged down to a day's low of 73.79 against the yen, after rising to 74.30 at 7:30 pm ET. The aussie is seen finding support around the 72.00 region.

Data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs showed that Japan's inflation slowed in January after rising in the previous month.

The consumer price index increased 0.7 percent year-on-year in January, slower than 0.8 percent rise in the preceding month. This was in line with economists' expectation.

Pulling away from its early highs of 0.6344 against the greenback, 71.15 against the yen and 1.7007 against the euro, the kiwi depreciated to more than a 4-month low of 0.6307, 2-day low of 70.59 and an 11-day low of 1.7112, respectively. The kiwi is poised to find support around 0.61 against the greenback, 69.00 against the yen and 1.74 against the euro.

The kiwi fell to 1.0465 against the aussie, following an advance to 1.0436 at 6:00 pm ET. If the kiwi weakens further, 1.06 is possibly seen as its next support level.

Looking ahead, PMIs from major European economies, U.K. public sector finance data and Eurozone CPI for January are scheduled for release in the European session.

Canada retail sales for December and U.S. existing home sales for January are due in the New York session.

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