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NZ dollar rises on US-China trade deal hopes, poor Australian data

Monday 4th November 2019

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The New Zealand dollar rose on increasing optimism the US and China will soon sign a preliminary trade deal and after poor Australian retail sales data weakened its trans-Tasman counterpart.

The kiwi was trading at 64.56 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 64.44 cents at 7:50am. It was at 93.28 Australian cents from 93.12 cents, while the trade-weighted index was at 70.98 points from 70.91.

The Australian data showed September-quarter retail sales fell 0.1 percent in inflation-adjusted terms when the market had been expecting a 0.2 percent increase.

"There was quite a lot of buying of kiwi against the Aussie today following those retail sales numbers," says Martin Rudings, a dealer at OMF.

Compounding the gloomier than expected read of the Australian economy were job advertisement numbers for October showing a 1 percent fall to their lowest level in more than two-and-a-half years. Both pieces of data increase the likelihood the Reserve Bank of Australia will cut rates further.

"We started the day with a bit of risk-on anyway," Rudings says, referring to the positive noises coming from the US and China on the interim trade deal.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Sunday that President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping are considering several locations in which to ink the deal including Iowa, Alaska, Hawaii or somewhere in China.

"That's put everything on a firm footing and the market's pretty optimistic that will happen," Rudings says.

Ross also said that licenses for American firms to do business with Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei will be granted very shortly.

Rudings noted that activity was subdued today because Japan's markets are closed for its Culture Day holiday.

The New Zealand dollar was at 49.90 British pence from 49.83, at 57.80 euro cents from 57.69, at 69.86 yen from 69.69 and at 4.5359 Chinese yuan from 4.5317.

The two-year swap rate edged up to a bid price of 1.0486 percent from 1.0095 percent on Friday while the 10-year swaps rose to 1.4475 percent from 1.3800 percent.


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