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NZ dollar gains to month-high vs yen as Trump inauguration looms

Friday 20th January 2017

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The New Zealand dollar rose to its highest level in a month against the yen as Japan's currency weakened against the greenback ahead of Donald Trump's presidential inauguration.

The kiwi rose to 82.47 yen as at 8am in Wellington, having earlier touched 82.74 yen, the highest since Dec. 17, from 81.78 yen late yesterday. The local currency traded at 71.67 US cents from 71.38 cents.

Trump's inauguration will include his speech to the nation, which may provide an update on his policy plans for the world's biggest economy. The greenback has been buoyed by a speech from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen yesterday which included a comment that several interest rate hikes may be needed this year with stronger US data such as jobless claims, housing starts and the Philadelphia Fed's Business Outlook Survey. By contrast, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said easy monetary policy would stay in place until there were signs of a pickup in inflation in the regional economic bloc.

"The market is anticipating more detail on fiscal policy, trade policy and regulatory change and the Trump trade has re-awakened a bit over the past 24/48 hours," said David Croy, senior rates strategist at ANZ Bank New Zealand. "Make America great euphoria" ahead of Trump’s inauguration "has put spark back into the USD and bond yields".

With no local data scheduled today, traders will be looking for offshore direction for the kiwi. Yellen is scheduled to speak again while China is due to release figures for fourth-quarter gross domestic product, and December data on industrial production and retail sales.

The kiwi gained to 4.9264 Chinese yuan from 4.8940 yuan late yesterday.

It was little changed at 94.93 Australian cents and traded at 58.20 British pence from 58.13 pence. The kiwi rose to 67.37 euro cents from 67.11 cents.

The trade-weighted index rose to 78.69 from 78.31.

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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