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NZ dollar slips from 4-month high as investors mull later start to Fed tapering, better US data

Friday 20th September 2013

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The New Zealand dollar slipped from a four-month high as traders mulled a later start to Federal Reserve tapering of monetary stimulus and as the greenback clawed back some ground following better economic data yesterday.

The kiwi rose as high as 84.35 US cents overnight, and was trading at 83.74 cents at 8am in Wellington, from 83.88 cents at the 5pm market close yesterday. The trade-weighted index edged up to 77.97 from 77.86 yesterday.

The greenback recovered some ground following yesterday's slump when the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee unexpectedly chose to keep its US$85 billion a month stimulus programme unchanged this month as it awaits more data showing a revival in the world's largest economy. Better than expected US data on jobless claims, home sales and Philadelphia business activity helped arrest the greenback's decline.

"Markets spent most of the night in a kind of stunned silence as investors continue to assess the implications of yesterday's FOMC decision," Mike Jones, currency strategist at Bank of New Zealand, said in a note. "A smattering of upbeat US data did throw the US dollar something of a lifeline, following the hiding it took yesterday. As a result, most of the major currencies have dribbled off their post-FOMC highs."

The kiwi may continue its slide today on profit taking and importer supply, Jones said. He expects it to trade in a range of between 83.30 US cents and 84.30 cents.

Following the Fed's decision, BNZ has revised higher its forecast for the New Zealand dollar and now expects it to end the year at 83.50 US cents, with the TWI at 79.

In New Zealand today, reports are due for August job advertisements, net migration and credit card spending.

The New Zealand dollar jumped to a four-month high of 83.67 yen early this morning as investors favoured higher-yielding assets over so-called safe havens like the yen. The kiwi was trading at 83.27 yen at 8am in Wellington from 82.50 yen at the 5pm market close yesterday.

The local currency rose to a one-month high of 88.72 Australian cents, and was trading at 88.71 cents at 8am in Wellington from 88.41 cents at the 5pm market close yesterday.

The kiwi was little changed at 61.92 euro cents from 61.99 cents yesterday and rose to 52.24 British pence from 52.02 pence.

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