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NZ dollar falls against Aussie as improving labour market stokes Australian sentiment

Thursday 16th November 2017

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The New Zealand dollar fell against the Aussie dollar and the greenback after figures showed Australia's jobless rate dropped to its lowest level in more than four years.

The kiwi fell to 90.24 Australian cents as at 5pm in Wellington from 90.56 cents late yesterday. It declined to 68.55 US cents from 68.71 cents yesterday. 

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent in October from 5.5 percent in September. Economists had expected the rate to remain steady. The data also showed 3,700 net new jobs were added in October. That was short of forecasts of a 17,500 rise, but September was revised up to a solid increase of 26,600 from the first estimate of a gain of 19,800.

OMF private client manager Stuart Ive said the biggest moves on the day came after the Aussie employment data that saw the unemployment rate drop. "The NZD/AUD was sold and that pushed it lower against the USD," he said. The move undid gains the kiwi had made yesterday against the Aussie when Australian wages accelerated by less than expected in the third quarter. 

While the data painted a strong jobs picture, the market reaction may be short-lived given that wages growth remains tepid. "This employment report doesn't move the needle for the RBA’s neutral stance, and is neutral for the markets," said Annette Beacher, chief Asia-Pac macro strategist for TD Securities.

Looking ahead, Ive said markets will awaiting any progress on US tax reform as the House is expected to vote on the tax bill Thursday in the US. 

The trade-weighted index was at 72.70 from 72.90 yesterday. The kiwi fell to 52.04 British pence from 52.28 pence and traded at 58.20 euro cents from 58.26 cents. It was at 4.5497 yuan from 4.5556 yuan and traded at 77.45 yen from 77.72 yen.

New Zealand's two-year swap rate fell 1 basis point to 2.16 percent while 10-year swaps fell 2 basis point to 3.15 percent.

(BusinessDesk)

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