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NZ dollar holding firm against Aussie but may have topped out

Wednesday 28th March 2018

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The New Zealand dollar remained firm against the Australian dollar as the outlook for iron ore continued to weigh on sentiment across the Tasman.

The kiwi traded at 94.40 Australian cents as at 5pm versus 94.52 Australian cents as at 8am and 94.14 cents yesterday. It was at 72.69 US cents from 72.88 cents late yesterday. 

Investors sought the kiwi after Miner Fortescue Metals said it is expecting to receive a lower price for its iron ore as conditions in China remain unfavourable and global trade tensions continue.

Mark Johnson, a senior dealer at OMF, said the kiwi, however, may be capped around these levels as it hasn't managed to break through 94.65 Australian cents with any conviction and it was looking "pretty stretched."

The kiwi eased slightly against the greenback and may have been weighed when the ANZ Business Outlook reported a net 20 percent of businesses were pessimistic about the year ahead, versus 19 percent in February.  "At a top-line level, today’s ANZ business survey was disappointing, in that its headline confidence and activity measures essentially stopped recovering," said BNZ head of research Stephen Toplis in a note. 

Trading, however, was very light as lingering global trade tensions continued to sideline investors with the trade-weighted index largely unchanged at 74.50 from 74.53 late yesterday. 

Looking ahead, Johnson said that markets will be keeping an eye out for fourth-quarter gross domestic product data in the US later in the global trading day followed by the Federal Reserve's preferred gauge on inflation known as the PCE index, due out early Friday morning in New Zealand. 

Johnson said that should the PCE index point to higher inflation it "may rattle a few cages" and lead markets to think the Fed might lift rates three more times this year rather than two. 

The New Zealand dollar traded at 58.54 euro cents from 58.52 cents late yesterday and at 4.5674 yuan from 4.5621 yuan yesterday. It traded at 76.70 yen from 76.97 yen.

New Zealand's two-year swap rate fell three basis points to 2.20 and the 10-year swap rate fell seven basis points to 3.05 percent. 

(BusinessDesk)

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