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NZ dollar up on US-China trade optimism

Thursday 4th April 2019

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The New Zealand dollar rose after positive headlines out of US-China trade talks and as weak US data weighed on the greenback. 

The kiwi was trading at 67.83 US cents at 8am from 67.70 US cents at 5pm in Wellington. The trade-weighted index was at 73.52 points from 73.45.

Risk appetite got a lift when White House economic director Larry Kudlow told an event hosted by the Christian Science Monitor that US-China trade negotiations are “making good headway.”

The " kiwi edged higher on the back of positive US-China trade headlines with soft US data also providing support," ANZ FX/rates strategist Sandeep Parekh said.

Mike Shirley, senior dealer at Kiwibank, said news that the US and China were making further strides mean that "risk was on" but the US data kept it from being "cranked up." 

The Institute for Supply Management said its non-manufacturing activity index fell 3.6 percentage points to 56.1 for March, the lowest since August 2017. The ADP National Employment Report on Wednesday showed private employers added 129,000 jobs last month, the fewest since September 2017. About 197,000 positions had been created in February.

According to Parekh the kiwi tested 68 US cents overnight before easing and "with little domestic data out, the kiwi remains at the mercy of offshore moves."

On Brexit, UK Prime Minister Theresa May is "pulling out all the stops to avoid a hard Brexit, with her party set for ‘intensive’ talks with Labour negotiators," said Parekh. The kiwi was trading at 51.55 British pence from 51.53 late yesterday. 

It was trading at 95.31 Australian cents from 95.37 cents and at 60.32 euro cents from 60.33, at 75.59 Japanese yen from 75.48 and at 4.5519 Chinese yuan from 4.5437.


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