The dollar strengthened for a second day as a decline in oil prices and concerns about an economic slowdown in China spurred demand for safer assets.

The greenback gained against most of its 16 major peers on Tuesday after data showed Chinese imports declined more than economists forecast. Australia’s dollar dropped Wednesday after a decision by the nation’s second-largest lender to raise its home-loan rates prompted speculation the central bank will respond by easing policy as soon as next month. The kiwi fell the most in three weeks after Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler said interest-rate cuts seem likely even as recent economic indicators have been more encouraging.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the greenback versus 10 peers, rose 0.1 percent to 1,195.10 as of 9:05 a.m. in Tokyo from Tuesday, when in gained 0.2 percent.

The Aussie fell 0.4 percent to 72.16 U.S. cents after Westpac Banking Corp. said it will increase its variable home-loan rates from Nov. 20, as it announced capital raising on Wednesday in Sydney.

The kiwi was at 66.40 U.S. cents after falling as much as 1.1 percent, the biggest decline since Sept. 21, on Wheeler’s comments.

Source: Bloomberg