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NZ dollar little changed, may gain on US data, EBC lending

Monday 27th February 2012

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The New Zealand was little changed within its recent range and may gain against the greenback and the euro ahead of US manufacturing data and the second round of European Central Bank lending.

The New Zealand dollar was little-changed on 83.52 US cents at 8am from 83.55 cents at the close of New York trading on Friday. The kiwi traded at 62.15 euro cents at 8am from 62.11 cents at the close of trading in New York. It rose as high as 63.50 cents on Friday.

In the US, the world’s largest economy, investors are searching for positive indications its economy remains on track with data on January durable goods orders due out on Tuesday and ISM factory activity barometer for February on Thursday.

China, the world’s second largest economy, will release its manufacturing measure with the official Purchasing Manager's index on Thursday. The New Zealand dollar will trade within its recent range, though solid global risk appetite and a weak US dollar are keeping the kiwi elevated, said Mike Jones, market strategist at Bank of New Zealand.

“The biggest test of market sentiment will come with Wednesday’s ECB long-term refinancing operation,” Jones said. “We still think interest rate and growth fundamentals are skewed in favour of the NZD/EUR.”

The Frankfurt-based ECB will offer its second tranche of three-year loans this week. The central bank lends banks as much money as they ask for against eligible collateral. European banks are expected to borrow up to half a trillion euros of cheap cash, according to Reuters.

At the first round of lending in December the ECB provided a record 489 billion euros to banks. It has previously offered banks unlimited 12-month loans. In New Zealand today, Statistics New Zealand releases its merchandise trade figures for January.

The trade surplus narrowed to $200 million in January from $338 million a month earlier, according to a Reuters survey. The annual surplus widened to $1.28 billion from $1.11 billion.

The New Zealand dollar was little-changed on 78.11 Australian cents from 77.08 cents at the close of trading in New York and 52.64 British pence from 52.56 pence.

The kiwi rose to 67.92 yen 67.68 yen. The trade-weighted index was 73.67 from 73.50.


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