Sharechat Logo

NZ dollar falls as weak retail sales raise fears over economic growth

Monday 21st May 2018

Text too small?

The New Zealand dollar fell against the greenback after first quarter retail spending was softer-than-expected, pointing to sluggish economic growth. 

The kiwi dropped to 68.97 US cents as at 5pm in Wellington versus 69.26 cents at 8am and 69.10 cents on Friday in New York. The trade-weighted index was at 72.50 from 72.58. 

Retail sales volumes rose 0.1 percent in the March quarter on an adjusted basis for seasonal and price effects, from a revised 1.4 percent gain in the fourth quarter, Statistics New Zealand said. Economists had expected retail sales volumes to lift 1 percent.  

"This signals downside risk to our Q1 GDP forecast and chimes with other signs that the economy is slowing," said Westpac Banking Corp senior economist Satish Ranchhod in a note.  The gross domestic product data is due June 21, according to Stats NZ. 

"It was incredibly disappointing. The market was expecting it to be a slightly more upbeat number than that, in particular after the partial indicators looked reasonably good," said Ross Weston, a senior trader at Kiwibank. 

He said the kiwi looked like it was heading for a bounce early in the session after markets were cheered by improving US-China trade relations but "the retail sales data took care of that." 

Weston said the kiwi is now floating around the 69 US cents level "waiting for a convincing break either way."  In order for it to push lower "we need much higher US yields and more US dollar strength," he said. 

The kiwi traded at 91.70 Australian cents from 91.72 cents on Friday in New York and fell to 4.3999 Chinese yuan from 4.4025 yuan. It gained to 76.72 yen from 76.52 yen last week and was unchanged at 58.69 euro cents. The kiwi increased to 51.33 British pence from 51.24 pence last week. 

New Zealand's two-year swap rate fell 2 basis points to 2.20 percent while 10-year swaps fell 5 basis points to 3.22 percent.


  General Finance Advertising    

Comments from our readers

No comments yet

Add your comment:
Your name:
Your email:
Not displayed to the public
Comments to Sharechat go through an approval process. Comments which are defamatory, abusive or in some way deemed inappropriate will not be approved. It is allowable to use some form of non-de-plume for your name, however we recommend real email addresses are used. Comments from free email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc may not be approved.

Related News:

Not much joy in Fellet's Sky TV swansong
Ebos says underlying net profit boosted by animal care segment
KiwiRail operating earnings start to improve as Picton-Christchurch rail link reopens
Spark 1H profit dips 5.6% as Southern Cross withholds dividend
Power panel favours scrapping low-fixed charges, prompt payment discounts
February 20th Morning Report
FIRST CUT: Fletcher betters first-half guidance with 8% ebit drop
Meridian posts record 1H operating earnings, raises dividend
FIRST CUT: A2 more than doubles 1H net profit
NZD lifts as US-China return to negotiating table, US seeking stable yuan

IRG See IRG research reports