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NZ dollar gains as S and P 500 heads for record high, lifting risk appetite

Tuesday 12th March 2013

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The New Zealand dollar rose, and has regained much of the ground shed after the US non-farm payrolls report on Friday, as the Standard & Poor's 500 Index edged toward a record high, stoking risk sentiment.

The kiwi rose to 82.59 US cents from 82.11 cents at 5pm in Wellington yesterday. The trade-weighted index climbed to 76.20 from 75.88.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has reached a record high above 14,400and the S&P 500 is around its 2007 highs, beyond which it would reach a record. Meantime, the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, known as Wall Street's fear gauge, is at its lowest since 2007.

"Risk sentiment remains positive," said Imre Speizer, senior markets strategist at Westpac Banking Corp. The kiwi dollar had a bounce last night "following the US share market."

The New Zealand dollar may trade in a range of 82.20 US cents to 83 cents today, he said.

The Real Estate Institute is due to release its report on house prices either today or tomorrow, which may provide more evidence of the heat in the property market, a key concern for the central bank, which publishes its monetary policy statement on Thursday.

New Zealand property values continued to rise in February, with most of the gains in Auckland and Christchurch, according QV figures published last week.

The kiwi rose to 63.34 euro cents from 63.15 cents and gained to 55.32 British pence from 55.04 pence. It edged up to 80.41 Australian cents from 80.31 cents and jumped to 79.53 yen from 78.97 yen.

BusinessDesk.co.nz



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