Kiwi consolidates after falling late last week
The New Zealand dollar nudged higher today after falling late last week and a test of higher levels is in prospect this week if data is supportive.
The kiwi was at 84.02 US cents at 5pm, up from 83.71 US cents at 8am but still down from 84.25 US cents at 5pm on Friday.
The NZIER business confidence survey and a residential property market report tomorrow morning will provide fresh information on the state of the economy, as will Friday's December quarter inflation statistics.
A 0.3 percent rise in retail card spending in December revealed by Statistic New Zealand today did nothing to alter ASB's view that the official cash rate will remain on hold until December 2013.
"A trend of gradually improving retail spending poses little concern to the Reserve Bank's inflation outlook," Daniel Smith, an economist at ASB Institutional, says.
Traders are waiting to see if buyers re-emerge after a sell-off in the kiwi late last week while keeping a wary eye on commodity prices and the performance of US banks due to report this week.
Imre Speizer at Westpac says the NZ dollar reversed from 84.61 late last week on profit-taking and after an above-expectation inflation report form China dampened expectations of a future stimulus.
He notes that the Tianjin iron ore price also fell 2.1 percent, halting a 37 percent rally since December 1.
"Fedspeak tonight from Bernanke and other doves should attract attention," he says.
US Federal Reserve boss Ben Bernanke is giving his first public speech since December's FOMC notes were released.
The trade-weighted index fell to 75.32 from 75.61 on Friday.
The kiwi ran up late in the day to 75.31 yen from 74.95 on Friday. It was at 62.71 euro from 63.56 on Friday and unchanged from Friday at 79.62 Australian cents.