* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019
* Q1 China GDP slightly above expectations, lifts Aussie
* Aussie surges vs dollar, scales 4-mth peak vs yen
* Stronger risk appetite weighs on dollar, helps euro bounce
* Kiwi touches 3-1/2-mth low on soft inflation data
By Shinichi Saoshiro
TOKYO, April 17 (Reuters) - The Australian dollar shot to a
two-month peak on Wednesday after data showed steady Chinese economic
growth in the first quarter, helping Australia's currency shake off
The Aussie was 0.2 percent higher at $0.7190 after touching
$0.7206, its strongest since Feb. 21. It also reached a four-month
peak of 80.71 yen .
The currency is sensitive to the economic fortunes of China,
Australia's biggest trading partner.
China's economy grew 6.4 percent in the first quarter from a year
earlier, official data showed on Wednesday, above expectations, helped
by sharply higher factory production.
"Short positions for the Aussie had piled up just yesterday
on the dovish RBA, and now they appear to be reversed in haste
following the Chinese data," said Yukio Ishizuki, senior forex
strategist at Daiwa Securities.
The Australian dollar has been dogged recently by the Reserve Bank
of Australia's dovish stance.
On Tuesday, the Aussie took a brief hit after the RBA said it
believes a cut in interest rates would be "appropriate"
should inflation stay low and unemployment trend higher.
Ishizuki said "while the RBA has sounded dovish, actually
cutting rates is not a realistic option at the moment. This, in
addition to higher iron ore prices, could propel the Aussie higher in
the long term."
The U.S. dollar, often a safe haven, sagged against the euro after
the Chinese data eased concerns about a global economic slowdown.
The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies
dipped 0.1 percent to 96.976.
The euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.1300, paring the previous day's losses.
The single currency came under pressure on Tuesday after Reuters
quoted four sources with direct knowledge of discussions as saying
several European Central Bank policymakers think the ECB's economic
projections are too optimistic, as economic weakness in China and
trade tensions lingers.
The New Zealand dollar was down 0.5 percent at $0.6727
but the Aussie's bounce helped it pull back from a 3-1/2-month low
of $0.6668 plumbed earlier in the session.
The kiwi was hit after data showed New Zealand's annual inflation
slowed in the first quarter, which raised the odds of an interest rate
cut in the coming months.
The greenback was flat at 111.98 yen after briefly popping up
to 112.17 yen, its highest since Dec. 20, following a bounce in U.S.
yields to four-week highs.
(Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Richard Borsuk)
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