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NZ dollar little changed as Fed officials fail to give new direction

Thursday 29th September 2016

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The New Zealand dollar was little changed after appearances by top Federal Reserve officials did little to change market perceptions of the timing of interest rate hikes in the US.

The kiwi traded at 72.73 US cents as at 8am in Wellington from 72.72 cents late yesterday. The trade-weighted index was at 77.06 from 77.11.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said in a speech that US monetary policy wasn't as loose as some market commentators have asserted and there wasn't a need to rush to raise interest rates while Fed chair Janet Yellen focused on the banking sector in a House of Representatives Financial Services Committee hearing while noting she saw a gradual increase in rates. Meanwhile, US durable goods orders didn't fall as expected in August although revisions left that series on a weaker track.

"It was another quiet day with a lack of news flow to drive markets," said Jason Wong, currency strategist at Bank of New Zealand. "Fed chair Yellen’s testimony in front of lawmakers went over familiar ground. She commented that the current course of the economy calls for a gradual increase in interest rates, something that doesn’t have a fixed timetable." 

The kiwi fell to 94.60 Australian cents from 94.72 cents and rose to 4.8506 yuan from 4.8473 yuan. It edged up to 73.18 yen from 73.10 yen and was little changed at 64.81 euro cents. The kiwi traded at 55.83 British pence from 55.91 pence.

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