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NZ dollar heads for 0.6% weekly fall as investors wait for trade war developments

Friday 7th September 2018

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The New Zealand dollar is heading for a 0.6 percent weekly fall against the greenback as investors continued to fret about global trade tensions and await US President Donald Trump's decision on further tariffs for China. 

The kiwi fell to 65.79 US cents at 5pm in Wellington versus 65.88 cents at 8am and 65.84 cents yesterday. It traded at 66.18 last Friday in New York. The traded weighed index was at 71.51 from 71.59 late yesterday. 

Markets are poised to see whether Trump opts to impose tariffs on another US$200 billion of Chinese imports, a decision that is expected any time. China has warned of retaliation. The US-China trade war has weighed on both the Australian and New Zealand dollars given their heavy reliance on China as a trading partner. Investors were also jittery Friday after overnight news reports Trump is eyeing Japan as the next target in the trade war, something that drove investors to the safe-haven yen in Asian trading.

"All the yen crosses got smacked,"  said Tim Kelleher, head of institutional foreign exchange sales at ASB Bank. The kiwi traded at 72.73 yen from  73.32 yen yesterday.

Looking ahead, he said markets will be watching the US payrolls report for August which is expected to show a robust rise of 191,000, although Reuters noted that July was temporarily depressed by the closure of the Toys R Us chain that month.

The local currency was largely unchanged at 91.80 Australian cents from 91.78 cents yesterday and traded at 4.5003 Chinese yuan from 4.5015 yuan yesterday. It was at 50.87 British pence from 50.99 pence and at 56.57 euro cents from 56.60 cents yesterday. 

New Zealand's two-year swap was unchanged at 1.96 percent. The 10-year swap was unchanged at 2.79 percent.


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