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NZ dollar pares gains from 80 US cents

Thursday 12th July 2012

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The New Zealand dollar fell from near 80 US cents after the minutes of the Federal Reserve's June meeting failed to give any explicit signal on further stimulus for the world's biggest economy, sapping the appeal of growth-linked currencies.

The kiwi dollar recently traded at 79.50 US cents, from 79.44 cents at 5pm in Wellington yesterday. It traded as high as 79.98 cents ahead of the release of the FOMC minutes. The trade-weighted index was at 72.31 from 72.28.

While the Fed expressed concern about the economic outlook for the US, policy makers are looking for conditions to deteriorate before they are ready to act, according to the minutes of the June 19-20 gathering. Investors had hoped for signs that additional action was likely at the FOMC's next meeting. The US dollar strengthened against most major currencies after the minutes were released as investors sought out the relatively safety of the world's reserve currency.

"The FOMC gave the currency a good clobbering," said Imre Speizer, market strategist at Westpac Banking Corp. "The market was primed for something more explicit."

Speizer said if the kiwi breaks below 79.30 cents today it could quickly fall as low as 78.50 cents.

The kiwi is likely to continue its slide through the rest of the week with Chinese economic growth, production and retail sales figures expected to add to signs the world's fastest-growing major economy is losing steam. Before then, New Zealand's performance of manufacturing, food prices and the ANZ Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence reports out today.

Economic releases from China "are expected to show the Chinese economy is still in slowdown mode," Speizer said. "That will be seen as a negative for markets and the kiwi."

The kiwi dollar rose to 65.91 euro cents from 64.83 cents yesterday and gained to 63.30 yen from 63 yen. It fell to 77.49 Australian cents from 77.87 cents and rose to 51.28 British pence from 51.18 pence.

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