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NZ dollar weaker as US-China jitters weigh on market sentiment

Monday 30th September 2019

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The New Zealand dollar was weaker after rumours the US was considering delisting Chinese companies from US stock exchanges among the latest move in the US-China trade war. 

The kiwi was trading at 62.81 US cents at 8:05 am in Wellington versus 62.95 cents late Friday in New York. The trade-weighted index was at 70.25 from 70.29.  

The major focus for markets was rumours that the US “might use a new form of screw tightening in the trade war,” said Kiwibank trader Mike Shirley.  

The US is reportedly looking at preventing Chinese companies from listing on US exchanges and maybe even delisting companies that are already there. 

Sources told Reuters on Friday that the US move would be part of a broader effort to limit US investments into Chinese companies, in part because of growing security concerns about their activities.

ANZ Bank FX/Rates strategist Sandeep Parekh said that the US Treasury stepped in to curb the speculation “suggesting there were no such plans at this time.” 

However, China-US trade tensions are in focus ahead of a new round of high-level talks between the world’s two largest economies. They are expected in Washington on Oct. 10-11, led from the Chinese side by President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser, Vice Premier Liu He.

Reuters also quoted Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen as saying that China hopes Beijing and Washington will resolve their trade dispute “with a calm and rational attitude,” on Sunday. 

The ongoing trade jitters mean the Kiwi has “struggled to secure any upward momentum,” said Parekh. 

Domestically, the focus today will be on the ANZ business confidence survey to see if businesses’ sentiment has improved. China’s performance of manufacturing index – due this afternoon – will also be watched.

The New Zealand dollar was at 92.89 Australian cents from 93.04 late Friday in New York, at 51.03 British pence from 51.22, at 57.38 euro cents from 57.54, at 67.81 yen from 67.94, and at 4.4732 Chinese Yuan from 4.4822. 

(BusinessDesk)

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