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NZ dollar mixed after strong Australian employment data

Thursday 18th July 2019

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The New Zealand dollar rose a little against the US dollar but fell slightly against the Aussie after reasonably strong jobs numbers in Australia provided no additional weight to the case for rate cuts there.

The kiwi was trading at 67.39 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 67.31 cents at 7:50am and at 95.85 Australian cents from 95.99. The trade-weighted index was at 73.64 points from 73.63. 

The Australian data showed the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.2 percent in June, well above the 4.5 percent level the Reserve Bank of Australia recently estimated would be needed to generate wage pressures.

While only 500 jobs were added in the month, that reflected a sharp fall in part-time jobs, while full-time positions climbed 21,100. Part-time hiring had jumped in May for the federal elections held that month.

“The employment numbers were quite decent,” says Mitchell McIntyre, a dealer at XE. “In terms of market expectations, they were looking for the worst in two years, so the bar was set quite low."

National Australia Bank’s business confidence numbers also showed a sharp improvement, the headline index rising to 6 points from zero in the previous quarter.

“There are a few reasons for the Australian and New Zealand dollars to rally,” McIntyre says, adding that positive data on China’s economy, the biggest export market for both antipodean countries, has also helped sentiment.

And commodity prices generally are rising, including for gold, silver and iron ore. This week’s Global Dairy Trade auction results were also positive for the first time in five auctions.

“Risk sentiment in the market generally is quite positive” and all the commodity-linked currencies have been rising, McIntyre says.

The New Zealand dollar was at 54.17 British pence from 54.13, at 59.97 euro cents from 59.96, at 72.57 yen from 72.74, and at 4.6344 Chinese yuan from 4.6270.

The New Zealand two-year swap rate edged down to 1.3190 percent from 1.3297 yesterday while the 10-year swap rate fell to 1.7625 percent from 1.8000.

(BusinessDesk)

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