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NZ dollar gains after Trump says greenback 'too strong', falls vs Aussie on jobs data

Thursday 13th April 2017

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The New Zealand dollar rebounded after US President Donald Trump said in an interview that the greenback was getting too high and he would prefer US interest rates to stay low. The kiwi fell against the Aussie after stronger-than-expected jobs data across the Tasman.



The kiwi dollar rose to 70.02 US cents as at 5pm in Wellington from 69.45 cents late yesterday. It fell to 92.27 Australian cents from 92.66 cents after figures showed Australia added three times as many jobs as forecast in March.



Trump told the Wall Street Journal that the greenback was "getting too strong", triggering a 0.7 percent drop in the US dollar index. He also said he would prefer the Federal Reserve, which has flagged two rate hikes this year, to keep interest rates low. The kiwi fell against its Australian counterpart after government figures showed employment jumped by 64,900 jobs last month, against forecasts of a 20,000 increase.



Trump's comments "certainly caused the US dollar to weaken," said Michael Johnston, senior trader at HiFX. "The Australian dollar took off like a cut cat on the Aussie employment numbers" and the move was probably exacerbated by thin trading ahead of the long Easter holiday, he said.



While New Zealand has a public holiday on Good Friday, it isn't a federal holiday in the US and the market will be watching for inflation and retail sales before the weekend, Jonhston said. That data "and whatever Trump tweets" is likely to keep markets relatively whippy, he said.



The kiwi dollar recovered some ground against the yen, rising to 76.19 yen from 76.04 yen yesterday. It had dropped as low as 75.64 yen, the lowest since Nov. 14 last year, as geopolitical tensions related to North Korea and Syria sent investors to so-called safe-haven assets.



The local dollar rose to 55.70 British pence from 55.62 pence late yesterday and traded at 65.58 euro cents from 65.47 cents. It rose to 4.8111 yuan from 4.7893 yuan.



New Zealand's two-year swap rate fell 1 basis point to 2.25 percent and 10-year swaps fell 1 basis point to 3.25 percent.




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