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NZ dollar little changed after brief blip higher on payrolls report

Monday 5th September 2016

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The New Zealand dollar begins the week little changed, having temporarily spiked higher on Friday in the US after weaker-than-expected non-farm payrolls, with the market still of the view that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December.

The kiwi traded at 72.81 US cents at 8am in Wellington from 72.88 cents in late New York trading on Friday. It spiked as high as 73.57 cents after the payrolls data. The trade-weighted index was little changed at 77.63, having climbed as high as 78.10 after the data.

The US economy added 151,000 jobs last month, fewer than the 180,000 expected by the market, while the unemployment rate crept up to 4.9 percent from 4.8 percent and average hourly earnings gained 0.1 percent versus expectations for 0.2 percent. Bets for a December rate hike by the Fed, reflected in the swaps market, were unchanged with odds of 75 percent. By then, traders expect the Reserve Bank will have cut the official cash rate a quarter point to 1.75 percent at its monetary policy statement on Nov. 10.

"Although the report showed headline payrolls were below expectation, as was hourly earnings growth, the market appeared to ultimately interpret it as a ‘goldilocks’ report. i.e. not so hot as to spur the Fed into imminent action, but not so cold as to suggest the economy is ailing," said Kymberly Martin, senior market strategist at Bank of New Zealand.

She said traders will be watching the ANZ Commodity Price Index for August, due out today, which BNZ expects will show a 4 percent increase, driven by improving prices of dairy products.

The New Zealand dollar fell to 95.95 Australian cents from 96.26 cents in New York on Friday. It increased to 75.70 yen from 75.54 yen and fell to 4.8570 yuan from 4.8683 yuan. It was little changed at 65.22 euro cents from 65.33 cents and declined to 54.71 British pence from 54.84 pence.

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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