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NZ dollar benefits from weaker-than-expected US jobs data

Thursday 3rd October 2019

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The New Zealand dollar was higher as a slowdown in US monthly private-sector hiring added to concerns about the health of the world's largest economy.

The kiwi was trading at 62.69 US cents at 7:50 am in Wellington versus 62.46 cents at 5:30 pm yesterday. The trade-weighted index was at 70.14 from 69.84.

The greenback – already under pressure after weak manufacturing data the previous day – took a further tumble when hiring by US private firms slowed further in September, with private employers adding 135,000 jobs, the ADP National Employment report showed.

Also, data for August was revised downward to show private payrolls increasing by 157,000 jobs instead of the previously reported 195,000 positions.

“The job market has shown signs of a slowdown,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute in a statement. “The average monthly job growth for the past three months is 145,000, down from 214,000 for the same time period last year.”

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “businesses have turned more cautious in their hiring.”

Markets were also jittery after a World Trade Organization ruling that allows the US to impose tariffs on the European Union. According to CNBC, arbitrators from the WTO have granted the US administration the right to impose levies on billions of European imports for what they say are illegal subsidies granted to planemaker Airbus by the governments of Germany, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom. 

Looking ahead, the market will now focus on the US non-farm payrolls data due overnight Friday for a further steer as “ global markets continued to digest the implications of the weaker US ISM print yesterday and the prospect of a softening global outlook more generally,” said ANZ Bank economists Susan Kilsby and Miles Workman.

The kiwi traded at 93.42 Australian cents from 93.06. It was at 67.16 yen from 67.34 and at 4.4787 Chinese yuan from 4.4652  yuan. It traded at 57.19 euro cents from 57.13 cents and was at 50.94 British pence from 50.86 pence.


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