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NZ dollar falls as slowing Chinese growth weighs on US company earnings

Tuesday 29th January 2019

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The New Zealand dollar fell after US companies said a slower Chinese economy was weighing on earnings, increasing fears about global growth. 

The kiwi declined to 68.36 US cents as at 8am in Wellington from 68.68 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index decreased to 73.83 from 74.08 yesterday. 

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 1.5 percent in afternoon trading. Caterpillar shares tumbled on weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings and chipmaker Nvidia cut revenue guidance, with both firms blaming China's slowdown. The earnings outlook eroded optimism about global growth, weighing on risk-sensitive assets such as stocks and commodity-linked currencies including the New Zealand and Australian dollars. 

"The weaker earnings results, including tangible evidence of the slowdown in growth in China, have seen global equity indices move lower to start the week," Bank of New Zealand interest rate strategist Nick Smyth said in a note. "The safe-haven Japanese yen and Swiss franc have outperformed against the risk-off backdrop."

The kiwi fell to 74.69 yen, from 74.84 yen yesterday, and declined to 67.70 Swiss centimes from 68.13 centimes. 

Investors had been upbeat after the US Federal government shutdown ended over the weekend. However, policymakers have agreed funding only until Feb. 15 and President Donald Trump said there was less than an even chance of a bipartisan deal being reached to avoid another closure. 

Local data today include December merchandise trade figures. US company earnings will stay in the spotlight with Amazon, Apple and Facebook scheduled to report this week, while trade talks between the US and China are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. 

The kiwi traded at 95.30 Australian cents from 95.26 cents yesterday and was at 4.6107 Chinese yuan from 4.6114 yuan. It was little changed at 51.93 British pence from 51.84 pence yesterday and almost unchanged at 59.76 euro cents from 59.75 cents. 

(BusinessDesk)

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