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NZ dollar dips below 49 British pence as Brexit deal seen within reach

Thursday 11th October 2018

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The New Zealand dollar fell below 49 British pence for the first time since the 2016 Brexit referendum on optimism a deal will be within reach by next week. 

The kiwi dropped to 48.98 pence as at 8am in Wellington from 49.27 pence yesterday. It declined to 64.62 US cents from 64.84 cents and US government bond yields edged higher. 

The British pound gained 0.4 percent after the European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said a deal was 80-to-85 percent ready and "within reach" by next Wednesday. He tempered that optimism by stressing the UK will need to accept possible checks on trade between Northern Ireland and its mainland. 

"GBP benefited from Barnier comments that a Brexit deal 'appears within reach but obstacles remain'," ANZ Bank New Zealand economists Miles Workman and Philip Borkin said in a note. "That sums it up really and leaves this cross at the whims of headlines."

The kiwi was weaker against the greenback as the yield on US 10-year Treasuries edged up to 3.21 percent and as stocks on Wall Street dropped. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.2 percent. US inflation data tonight is expected to show an increase in consumer prices, supporting the Federal Reserve's track for higher interest rates. 

Local data today include September house price movements and sales turnover and the food prices index. New Zealand's pace of inflation is expected to have accelerated in the September quarter and some economists are becoming more sceptical of the Reserve Bank's statements that a rate cut is still a possibility. 

The kiwi edged up to 91.26 Australian cents from 91.09 cents yesterday and fell to 4.4733 Chinese yuan from 4.4862 yuan. It declined to 72.68 yen from 73.29 yen yesterday and decreased to 56.09 euro cents from  56.33 cents. The trade-weighted index was at 70.82 from 70.98 yesterday. 

(BusinessDesk)

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