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NZ dollar heading for a 0.4% weekly fall in nervous markets

Friday 18th August 2017

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The New Zealand dollar was set to end the week 0.4 percent lower against the greenback on growing concerns that US President Donald Trump's won't be able to push through his pro-business agenda and in the wake of the attack in Barcelona. 

The kiwi was at 72.95 US cents at 5pm in Wellington versus 72.86 cents at 8am in Wellington from 73.28 cents yesterday. It traded at 73.18 US cents last Friday in New York.  The trade-weighted index declined to 76.93 from 77.13 yesterday.

"Generally, it's risk off. There are a couple of underlying currents. There's Trump uncertainty and the Barcelona story," said Sheldon Slabbert, a trader at CMC Markets. The attack in Barcelona, where at least 13 people died, as well as political uncertainties in the U.S., saw investors seek out safe havens."

The kiwi dropped to 79.73 yen from 80.51 yen as the yen is traditionally viewed as one of those safe havens. 

In the US, rumours the director of the U.S. National Economic Council, Gary Cohn, was set to resign after President Donald Trump's remarks on the violence in Charlottesville caused jitters.  White House aides later told The Wall Street Journal that Cohn hadn't resigned and didn't plan on resigning.

Slabbert also said markets are "ripe for a bit of a retracement, a pause,"  as equities and investor sentiment have pushed them quite high year-to-date. 

The kiwi traded at 62.15 euro cents from 62.20 cents yesterday and at 56.59 British pence from 56.78 pence. It was at 4.8705 Chinese yuan from 4.8861 yuan. The local currency traded at 92.35 Australian cents from 92.39 cents yesterday.

New Zealand's two-year swap rate was down 1 basis point at 2.16 percent while 10-year swaps rose fell 2 basis points to 3.12 percent.

(BusinessDesk)

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