Kiwi recovers after gold slump, Boston bombings shake markets

The New Zealand dollar recovered some of its losses after a plunge in gold and silver prices and the worst bombing on US soil since the 2001 World Trade Centre attacks sent jitters through already nervous global markets.

The kiwi rose to 84.83 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 83.75 cents at 8am, though still down from 85.05 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index declined to 78.03 from 78.16 yesterday.

Stocks across Asia were flat following the slump on Wall Street after gold arrested its biggest slide in three decades and recently traded at $US1364.40 an ounce, having dropped as low as $US1321.95.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.1 percent in afternoon trading, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.6 percent and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index declined 0.3 percent.

"Nothing has changed fundamentally. A plunge in global gold markets doesn't mean the kiwi is in some downtrend," says Mike Jones, currency strategist at Bank of New Zealand in Wellington.

"I wouldn't expect it to run further than 82 on the kiwi, which is the bottom of a well-defined range in the last six months."

Markets are expected to continue digesting the twin bombings in Boston which killed three people and injured more than 100 others, with heightened security alerts throughout the world's biggest economy.

The kiwi gained to 81.78 Australian cents from 81.46 cents yesterday after minutes to the this month's Reserve Bank of Australia policy review showed the central bank still sees room to cut rates with its current rate of inflation.

New Zealand's first-quarter consumer price index is scheduled for tomorrow, and economists expect it will show an annual pace of 0.9 percent, below the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's target band of between 1 percent and 3 percent, with the strong currency damping tradable inflation.

The kiwi fell to 64.86 euro cents from 65.02 cents yesterday, and slipped to 55.40 British pence from 55.48 pence. It declined to 82.75 yen from 83.24 yen.

(BusinessDesk)

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The fall in the gold price means that marginally economic producers are more likely to go to the wall, which means the sounder producers will own a bigger share of the market, making them more attractive invetsment targets, also mitigating against new start-ups due to the high barriers to entry.

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NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7788 0.0010 0.13%
AUD 0.9516 0.0000 0.00%
EUR 0.6344 0.0016 0.25%
GBP 0.4976 0.0012 0.24%
HKD 6.0397 0.0072 0.12%
JPY 93.0010 0.4560 0.49%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1198.3 8.880 2014-12-18T00:
Oil Brent 59.3 -1.910 2014-12-18T00:
Oil Nymex 54.4 -2.430 2014-12-18T00:
Silver Index 15.9 0.010 2014-12-18T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5518.5 5545.0 5518.5 0.17%
NASDAQ 4712.4 4748.4 4644.3 2.24%
DAX 9901.3 9901.3 9811.1 0.57%
DJI 17367.8 17778.4 17356.9 2.43%
FTSE 6466.0 6521.7 6466.0 0.70%
HKSE 23158.3 23189.6 22832.2 1.25%
NI225 17511.0 17621.4 17210.0 2.39%