NZ dollar pares gain after Australian exports data disappoints

The New Zealand dollar pared gains in local trading after figures showed Australian exports were flat in November, disappointing investors who were hoping for growth.

The kiwi traded at 82.60 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 83 cents at 8am and little changed from 82.56 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index was little changed at 78.18 from 78.14.

Australia's trade deficit narrowed to A$118 million in November from a shortfall of A$358 million a month earlier, and was smaller than expectations due to a drop in imports. Flat export figures in the month pushed the Australian dollar down to 89.26 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 89.55 cents before the release, which weighed on the kiwi. New Zealand's currency rose to 92.50 Australian cents at 5pm in Wellington from 92.26 cents yesterday.

"The market didn't like the make-up of the data with exports unchanged," said Stuart Ive, senior adviser at OMF in Wellington. "The kiwi went up to a peak at 83 against the US dollar, but couldn't hold on to those gains, taking a correction once the Australian trade balance figures came out."

OMF's Ive said the kiwi has support at 82.50 US cents and faces resistance at 83.05 cents.

Weaker than expected US services sector data yesterday pushed down the greenback, though investors are largely waiting for American jobs figures on Friday in Washington for direction on the pace of the Federal Reserve's withdrawal of monetary stimulus.

The US Senate today confirmed Janet Yellen as the next chair of the Fed, and she'll replace Ben Bernanke after he completes his term at the end of this month.

The kiwi dollar traded increased to 86.36 yen at 5pm in Wellington from 86.18 yen yesterday and slipped to 60.62 euro cents from 60.77 cents. It was little changed at 50.37 British pence from 50.45 pence.

(BusinessDesk)

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NI225 15354.4 15377.0 15139.0 1.01%