(Action Economics) - 23-Feb-12 05:48 -AUD-USDtripped stops at 1.0600 and then headed back to 1.0650 as tight ranges persisted during the Asian session.

The brief AUD fall flushed out option barriers exposure, but exporters put a floor in place, along with AUD-JPY dip buying from Japanese retail accounts ahead of 85.00.

EUR-AUD's supportive tone around 1.2450 restrained AUD-USD, though it struggled around 1.2485 amid good sell-interest ahead of 1.2500 buy stops.

Meanwhile, PM Gillard called a leadership vote for Monday in a bid to stamp out a challenge from political rival Kevin Rudd.NZD-USDconsolidated Wednesday's losses, trading under 0.8300 in Asia, yet propped up ahead of good bids at 0.8250-60.

NZ Finance Minister English offered a positive assessment on the economy.

He said the economy is in better shape in many countries, including NZ, and expected growth in 2012.

English said the earthquake rebuild should add 1.25% to growth in each year from 2012 to 2016.

English did not expect the eurozone to meltdown, but expected it to be a headwind to the recovery and NZ's budge surplus in 2014/15.

NZ will pay for future investment and reduce debt by selling state assets, but said he was confident that part privatised assets will remain 85-90% NZ owned.

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