Dollar slips against yen

The New Zealand dollar slipped against the yen as investors favoured the safe haven currency amid concern a decline in China's yuan which may signal growth in Asia's largest economy is slowing.

The kiwi slipped to 85.14 yen at 8am in Wellington from 85.42 yen at 5pm yesterday. The local currency was almost unchanged at 83.32 US cents from 83.33 cents yesterday.

China's yuan fell about 0.5 percent against the US dollar yesterday, its biggest decline in more than three years, amid speculation China's central bank wants to end to the currency's steady appreciation and allow it to trade in a wider band. The yuan is more than 1 percent weaker over the past week, raising concern it may hurt property developers who have borrowed in dollars, and contribute to a slowing in the property market.

"This sort of volatility is unheard of for the tightly-controlled currency and has analysts speculating that the People's Bank of China is attempting to shake out speculative activity," Bank of New Zealand currency strategist Raiko Shareef said in a note. "Whatever the reason, the JPY has benefitted from investors seeking relative safety."

Today, Finance Minister Bill English is expected to release details of the share market float of state-owned Genesis Energy at a speech to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

In Australia, traders will be eyeing data on fourth quarter construction activity, which feed into GDP, while the US has new home sales for January.

The New Zealand dollar was little changed at 92.32 Australian cents from 92.33 cents yesterday, at 60.63 euro cents from 60.66 cents, and at 49.95 British pence from 50 pence. The trade-weighted index was little changed at 78.16 from 78.20 yesterday.

(BusinessDesk)

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NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7785 -0.0048 -0.61%
AUD 0.8853 -0.0020 -0.23%
EUR 0.6219 0.0005 0.08%
GBP 0.4869 -0.0028 -0.57%
HKD 6.0413 -0.0333 -0.55%
JPY 87.4210 1.8540 2.17%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1171.1 -27.000 2014-10-31T00:
Oil Brent 85.9 -0.380 2014-10-31T00:
Oil Nymex 80.5 -0.520 2014-10-31T00:
Silver Index 16.1 -0.310 2014-10-31T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5370.2 5405.3 5370.2 0.33%
NASDAQ 4639.4 4641.5 4566.1 1.41%
DAX 9283.4 9339.3 9114.8 2.33%
DJI 17208.8 17395.5 17195.4 1.13%
FTSE 6463.6 6553.4 6463.6 1.28%
HKSE 23913.7 24046.4 23702.0 1.25%
NI225 15817.1 16533.9 15658.2 4.83%