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NZ dollar falls as inflation indicators awaited, volatility measure ebbs

Tuesday 13th February 2018

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The New Zealand dollar fell ahead of inflation data in the UK and US and the Reserve Bank's survey of expectations tomorrow, with little indication there is much pressure on prices worldwide.

The kiwi declined to 72.44 US cents as at 8am in Wellington from 72.68 cents late yesterday. The trade-weighted index fell to 74.52 from 74.72.

Figures tonight may show UK core inflation was 2.6 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, up from 2.5 percent previously, while tomorrow night US data may show core inflation slowed to 1.7 percent from 1.8 percent. The RBNZ's survey of expectations, out tomorrow, may also indicate a subdued outlook for inflation after the central bank last week reiterated interest rates are on hold until at least the second half of 2019. 

"Offshore events are likely to hold sway with US CPI figures the key event this week," Con Williams, rural economist at ANZ Bank New Zealand, said in a report. "That said the RBNZ’s two-year inflation expectations survey tomorrow will also be watched to see if the central bank might need to take more action to move prices along."

Traders will watch for the Crown accounts today for the six months ended Dec. 31 and in Australia, the NAB business conditions survey for January.

Financial markets are more subdued than last week, with the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX) retreating to about 26 from a spike to about 40.90 at the end of last week.

The kiwi dollar fell to 52.38 British pence from 52.45 pence late yesterday after  Bank of England policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe said a further rise in British interest rates was likely to be needed, adding to hawkish comments from the Bank of England last week.

The kiwi dropped to 92.34 Australian cents from 92.76 cents yesterday and declined to 58.96 euro cents from 59.15 cents. It was little changed at 4.5804 yuan from 4.5810 yuan and fell to 78.71 yen from 79.02 yen.

(BusinessDesk)

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