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NZ dollar becalmed and awaiting offshore impetus

Monday 8th April 2019

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The New Zealand dollar was little changed after adjusting to a raft of positive news last week and with investors now awaiting further impetus from offshore.

The positive news included Chinese manufacturing data rebounding back into expansionary territory, better manufacturing data from the United States and stronger-than-expected US jobs numbers. That caused the greenback to rise against New Zealand’s currency.

The kiwi was trading at 67.32 US cents at 5:05pm in Wellington from 67.26 at 8am, and at 67.54 this time on Friday, while the trade-weighted index was at 73.14 points from 73.13.

Mark Lister, the head of wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners, notes that although the currency fell more than a percent against the US dollar last week, it is still 0.28 percent higher than when it began this year.

Peter Cavanaugh, the senior client advisor at Bancorp Treasury Services, says the New Zealand dollar traded just a 15 point range against the US dollar today and a 17 point range against the Australian dollar.

“It’s another typical Monday – after an exciting week, it made the appropriate adjustments and is now sitting waiting for more direction from offshore,” Cavanaugh says.

The Australian dollar is similarly becalmed, he says.

That’s despite Citibank taking a bullish view on the Australian dollar, citing its expectation China’s policies aimed at stimulating that economy are starting to work – China is both New Zealand’s and Australia’s largest trading partner.

But Cavanaugh says the degree of uncertainty globally means it’s possible to make both a positive and a negative case for every currency.

The key uncertainties remain the outcome of the ongoing China-US trade negotiations and Britain’s ongoing farce about Brexit.

“The good news is we will have some idea of what kind of Brexit may happen by the end of this week,” Cavanaugh says.

The New Zealand dollar was at 94.87 Australian cents from 94.63, at 51.52 British pence from 51.57, 59.94 euro cents from 59.96, 74.98 Japanese yen from 75.14 and at 4.5227 Chinese yuan from 4.5187.

The New Zealand two-year swap rate fell to 1.6279 percent from 1.6339 on Friday while the 10-year swap rate fell to 2.2200 percent from 2.2625.


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