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NZ dollar gains as Trump uncertainty keeps markets uneasy

Monday 23rd January 2017

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 The New Zealand dollar rose above 72 US cents as investors remain uneasy about what US President Donald Trump will deliver in his much-anticipated infrastructure spending programme.

The kiwi gained to 72.02 US cents as at 5pm in Wellington from 71.56 cents at 8am and 71.66 cents on Friday in New York. The trade-weighted index was little changed at 78.65 from 78.69 last week. 

The greenback has come under pressure as investors second-guess the extent of Trump's promised infrastructure spending, which is seen as adding inflationary pressures to the world's biggest economy. Trump campaigned on a platform of increased spending, tax reform, and protectionist trade and immigration policies, though detail remains scant since his inauguration on Jan. 20. 

"People are going to wait and see what comes out of President Trump's mouth - markets are looking for him to talk about his stimulatory policies, specifically what the spending on infrastructure is going to look like," said Michael Johnston, senior trader at HiFX in Auckland. "The absence of any meaningful data this week means the kiwi will wax and wane with what President Trump comes out with." 

HiFX's Johnston said Wellington anniversary holiday kept trading relatively light today, though December quarter inflation data on Thursday will be watched to see whether rising oil prices are pushing up consumer prices, which could warrant higher interest rates. 

New Zealand's two-year swap rate fell 4 basis points to 2.37 percent, and 10-year swaps decreased 3 basis points to 3.43 percent. 

The kiwi increased to 95.13 Australian cents from 94.75 cents last week and advanced to 4.9318 Chinese yuan from 4.9217 yuan. It edged up to 67.04 euro cents from 66.88 cents last week and traded at 57.97 British pence from 57.86 pence. The local currency slipped to 81.83 yen from 82.07 yen last week. 

 

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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