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NZ dollar little changed after mixed US data; election hiatus continues

Monday 2nd October 2017

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 The New Zealand dollar, which has shed about 1.5 percent since the Sept. 23 election, was little changed after mixed US data gave few clues to the pace of Federal Reserve monetary policy changes.

The kiwi traded at 72.14 US cents as at 8am in Wellington from 72.05 cents in New York on Friday and 72.10 cents in Wellington at the end of last week. The trade-weighted index rose to 76.10 from 75.98 in New York.

NZ First leader Winston Peters says he won't begin talks on forming a coalition government until Oct. 7, after special votes are counted, leaving the media to speculate on which way he will turn. US PCE deflator figures out last Friday were weaker than expected, coming in at a core 0.1 percent month-on-month in August and raising doubts about the pace of US inflation, while the Chicago purchasing managers index jumped more than expected. 

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has met former Federal Reserve governor Kevin Warsh, perceived as a hawk, as a possible new chair for the Fed, replacing Janet Yellen.

"Sluggish inflationary dynamics could weigh on the USD, but the potential for a more hawkish replacement to Yellen will provide some food for thought," Con Williams, rural economist at ANZ Bank New Zealand, said in a note. 

With little on the local economic calendar this week, data on commodity prices and the latest dairy auction will be the highlights but offshore data is likely to have more influence on the kiwi, including US payrolls on Friday. US payrolls for September were expected to have been weak because of the disruption from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The kiwi traded at 61.16 euro cents from 61.02 cents on Friday in New York and at 53.89 British pence from 53.91 pence. It traded at 81.22 yen from 81.26 yen, at 92.03 Australian cents from 91.94 cents and gained to 4.7997 yuan from 4.7984 yuan.


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