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NZ dollar rises to 3-week high as Italy fears ease, risk appetite returns

Thursday 31st May 2018

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The New Zealand dollar rose to a three-week high as reports of renewed efforts to form a government in Italy helped lift risk appetite and the euro.

The kiwi dollar climbed to 69.89 US cents as at 8am in Wellington from 69.10 cents late yesterday. The kiwi traded at 59.91 euro cents from 59.86 cents and the trade-weighted index gained to 73.36 from 72.85 yesterday.

Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella has attempted to broker a deal to form a new government, the Financial Times reported, holding informal talks with leaders of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the far-right League. The kiwi's gains against the greenback were helped by weaker-than-expected US data, including Commerce Department figures showing US economic growth was an annualised 2.2 percent in the first quarter, down from an initial estimate of 2.3 percent, while ADP private sector employment increased by 178,000 jobs in May, missing estimates for 190,000 jobs and April's tally was revised lower.

"There has been a broad-based unwind of yesterday’s flight to safety moves, with equities higher, core bond yields higher and the EUR stronger," Nick Smyth, interest rate strategist at Bank of New Zealand, said in a note. "Against a backdrop of a stronger EUR and improving risk appetite, the NZD has risen close to 70" US cents. 

In New Zealand today, traders will be watching for the ANZ Business Outlook for any signs that business confidence is improving. On Friday the terms of trade data will garner interest, followed by US jobs data overnight Friday. 

The kiwi jumped to 76.07 yen from 75.04 yen yesterday. It traded at 92.19 Australian cents from 92.15 cents and rose to 4.4852 yuan from 4.4405 yuan. It rose to 52.60 British pence from 52.12 pence.


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