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NZ dollar creeps above 85 US cts ahead of American employment data

Friday 2nd September 2011

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The New Zealand dollar rose against the greenback above 85 U.S. cents amid nervous sentiment on global equity markets nervous ahead of non-farm payrolls data out the U.S. later today.

The New Zealand dollar recently traded at 85.09 U.S. cents, up from 84.88 cents yesterday, and rose to 72.91 on the trade-weighted index of major trading partners' currencies from 72.74 previously.

Global stock markets failed to sustain early gains on improved U.S. manufacturing data, with the Institute for Supply Management’s factory index falling less than expected to 50.6 in August and still expanding. That beat a median forecast of 48.5 according to Bloomberg.

Equity markets closed on a mixed footing with increased nervousness among investors ahead of tonight's non-farm payroll data. Economists are betting the U.S. economy added 60,000 jobs in August, down from 117,000 in the previous month. On Wall Street, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 1.2% to 1,204.82, while Europe's Stoxx 600 Index rose 0.6% to 238.93.

"The non-farms data are the most watched number on the economic calendar," said Alex Hill, manager of corporate FX at HiFX in Auckland. "The market is very nervous and unsure right now. There wasn't a lot to go on from Jackson Hole, and everyone is just waiting for the next ticket to buy and sell on," which is keeping the kiwi in a tight range, he said.

On the crosses, the kiwi recently traded at 79.16 Australian cents, down from 79.30 cents yesterday, and rose to 65.37 Japanese yen from 65.26 yen previously. It rose to 59.64 euro cents from 59.37 cents yesterday, and gained to 52.61 pence from 51.30 pence previously.

Hill said the kiwi may trade between a range of 84.70 U.S. cents and 85.40 cents, and is likely to linger at current levels for the rest of the New Zealand trading day.


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