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Kiwi falls against dollar as US unemployment lower

Monday 7th February 2011

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The New Zealand dollar fell to its lowest level against the greenback in more than a week over the weekend, as the US currency was boosted by a sharp drop in the jobless rate in the US.

The kiwi was buying US76.90c at 8am today, having dropped to around US76.65c on Saturday morning, from US77.40c at 5pm on Friday.

Recent US data, capped by the jobless rate's decline to 9% in January from 9.4% in December, pushed up US Treasury yields and had markets pricing in a two-in-three chance of a US rate hike by year end, up from one-in-three a week ago.

"Yields are moving up, and while job creation is not where people want it to be, the feeling is there is an underlying momentum," said Brian Dolan, chief strategist at in Bedminster, New Jersey.

"The (US) dollar has moved higher on that."

Some analysts say the market may be getting ahead of itself. Dan Cook, senior analyst at IG Markets in Chicago, noted US employers added a paltry 36,000 jobs in January, though bad weather may have had an impact.

The payrolls gain reported by US employers was just a quarter of the 145,000 jobs economists had expected.

The NZ dollar emerged from the weekend little changed against other key currencies, buying 0.5674 euro at 8am today, and edging up to A76.04c at 8am from A75.95c at 5pm on Friday, and to 63.26 yen from 63.10. The trade weighted index dropped to 68.41 at 8am from 68.56.



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