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NZ dollar little changed in light pre-Christmas trading

Friday 23rd December 2016

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The New Zealand dollar was well supported in thin trading ahead of the Christmas holiday, after US data overnight failed to push the greenback higher. 

The kiwi dollar was at 69.06 US cents as at 2pm in Wellington from 69.07 cents late Thursday. US growth was better than tipped in the third quarter, expanding 3.5 percent, but personal income and spending data was softer.   

“All things being equal, I think we will just sidle into Christmas,” said ASB head of FX institutional sales New Zealand Tim Kelleher.  Data out of the UK and US later in the global trading day are unlikely to push markets around much. While the US dollar is still very much in favour, strong domestic data – such as news the economy grew 3.5 percent in September quarter from a year earlier - is keeping the kiwi from taking a tumble.  

Kelleher said while there could be some month-end, year-end squaring up, the biggest influence on markets over the next week or so is likely to be low liquidity. 

The trade-weighted index inched up to 77.11 from 77 yesterday.

The local currency traded at 95.52 Australian cents from 95.25 cents late Thursday. It was at 4.7971 yuan from 4.7973 yuan and was unchanged at 81.11 yen. It fell to 66.13 euro cents from 66.12 cents and rose to 56.24 British pence versus 55.82 pence.

New Zealand’s two-year swap rate rose four basis points to 2.49 percent, and 10-year swaps rose two basis points to 3.56 percent.

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