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NZ dollar gains as local card spending rises at fastest recorded pace

Monday 11th November 2013

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The New Zealand dollar gained after the fastest recorded increase in card spending on core retail industries fuelled optimism about the local economy.

The kiwi rose to 82.81 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 82.34 cents at 8am and 82.40 cents on Friday in New York. The trade-weighted index slipped to 77.41 from 77.53 on Friday in New York.

New Zealanders lifted their electronic card spending on core retail industries by 1.8 percent in October, the fastest pace since October 2002 when the series began, and seasonally adjusted spending on all industries rose 1.1 percent. The monthly figures account for about two-thirds of core retail spending, and the September quarterly retail sales are scheduled for release on Thursday.

The local data came out after strong employment figures release on Friday in Washington fuelled demand for the greenback, and with some markets closed for the Armistice and Veterans' Day holidays.

"The credit card spending came out higher than expected in a fairly quiet market with Armistice/Veterans' Day," said Stuart Ive, senior client adviser at OM Financial in Wellington. "There was a big move on Friday in the US dollar after the very strong rally in payrolls, and the kiwi bounced from its support around 82.50, helped by that card data."

Investors are keeping tabs on the Chinese Communist Party's third plenum meeting for any sign policymakers will move to open up the world's second-biggest economy. Chinese industrial production grew faster than expected last month, while retail spending was in line with forecasts.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand will release its six-monthly financial stability report on Wednesday, which will give an update on how the monetary authority's mortgage loan restrictions are faring after their first month. Governor Graeme Wheeler is also expected to try and talk the currency down at the briefing on the report, or when he appears in front of a Parliamentary select committee.

The local currency gained to 88.26 Australian cents from 87.78 cents on Friday in New York, and rose to 81.94 yen from 81.63 yen. It increased to 61.97 euro cents at 5pm in Wellington from 61.62 cents last week, and advanced to 51.71 British pence from 51.44 pence.


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