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NZD dollar tad higher after Fed minutes, mild US inflation

Thursday 11th April 2019

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The New Zealand dollar firmed against the US dollar after minutes from the latest Federal Reserve policy meeting underscored the US central bank will remain patient when it comes to any change in interest rates. 

The kiwi was trading at 67.61 at 8am in Wellington from 67.51 at 5pm yesterday. The trade-weighed index was at 73.33 from 73.17. 

"In light of global economic and financial developments and muted inflation pressures, the committee will be patient as it determines what future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate may be appropriate to support these outcomes," the Federal Open Market Committee said in its minutes. 

"FOMC minutes this morning reiterated the Fed’s earlier messaging, with a number of officials noting rates could go up or down. Minutes suggest Fed officials are comfortable that the US economy can weather slowing global growth, but patience is paramount," said ANZ FX/rates strategist Sandeep Parekh. 

The minutes came on the heels of US inflation data, which was slightly weaker than expected, adding to the pressure on the greenback. March core inflation was 2 percent higher than a year earlier, against economist expectations of 2.1 percent. 

Domestically, investors will be watching for New Zealand's food price index, which is the last piece of data that feeds into next week's inflation data. China's inflation data is also due later today. 

The kiwi was at 94.30 Australian cents from 94.56 cents at 5pm yesterday. It was at 51.63 British pence from 51.66, at 59.96 euro cents from 59.93, 75 Japanese yen from 74.99 yen and 4.5395 Chinese yuan from 4.5313.


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