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NZ dollar stalls amid doubts on US-China trade deal

Tuesday 15th October 2019

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The New Zealand dollar was little changed as the excitement about the supposed trade deal reached last week between the US and China began to evaporate.

The kiwi was trading at 63.02 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 62.98 at 8am. The trade-weighted index was at 70.02 points from 69.96.

While US President Donald Trump tweeted that last week's agreement with China was "by far, the greatest and biggest deal ever made for our Great Patriot Farmers in the history of our Country," doubts are increasing about how much of substance was agreed.

There are also reports that China wants another round of talks before signing what Trump last week called "a very substantial phase one deal" that included China buying US$40-50 billion of US farm products and the US cancelling tariff increases due to take effect this week.

"After the initial euphoria on Friday night that extended into Monday, last night was really a cooling down period," says Imre Speizer, currency strategist at Westpac.

"The market is needing to see some evidence before it gets too excited again." 

The Reserve Bank of Australia released the minutes of its last meeting when it cut its cash rate from 1 percent to 0.75 percent, but it had little discernible impact on trading.

The minutes showed that the decision to cut rates wasn't an easy one, says Marcus Thieliant, an economist at Capital Economics. He still thinks the RBA will cut further.

"The minutes show that the bank had a much more in-depth discussion of the impact of monetary easing than at previous meetings," Thieliant says.

"In particular, the board was a little worried that cutting the policy rate further could boost GDP growth by more than anticipated, given that the housing market and the mining sector had turned the corner."

The market expects New Zealand's Reserve Bank to cut its official cash rate from 1 percent to 0.75 percent in November when it next reviews monetary policy.

The New Zealand dollar was trading at 92.99 Australian cents from 92.92, at 49.94 British pence from 50.04, at 57.12 euro cents from 57.07, at 68.25 yen from 68.23, and at 4.4570 Chinese yuan from 4.4486.

The two-year swap rate edged down to a bid price of 0.8732 percent from 0.8843 yesterday while the 10-year swaps fell to 1.2475 percent from 1.2800.


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