Member log in

Kiwi rises as Aussie employment data disappoints

The kiwi rose against an Australian dollar undermined by a weak employment report today.

The New Zealand dollar was at 79.86 Australian cents at 5pm, up from 79.49 cents at 8am and 79.63 cents at 5pm yesterday.

The rise came after the Australian employment rate of 5.4 percent was announced at 1.30pm NZ time.

"The important number to look at was jobs growth and the jobs added or shedded. The consensus was for adding 5000 and the result was shedding 5500," Imre Speizer, senior markets strategist at Westpac, says.

"It was not a major surprise. I'd call it a moderate surprise." 

The headline jobs number produced a textbook response, the Australian dollar falling quickly to the day's low of $US1.0533 before steadying around $US1.0545.

Interest rate market pricing for the Reserve Bank of Australia's February meeting gyrated but settled at a 38 percent probability of a 25 basis point cash rate cut.

The Australian data was "the story of the day", Mr Speizer says. "Tomorrow we have our story, which is the December quarter inflation report."

A 0.1 percent rise is expected in the consumer price index in the December quarter.

Mr Speizer says a small negative number could have negative psychological connotations which would undermine the local currency.

The kiwi was at 83.93 US cents at 5pm, compared to 84.06 cents at 5pm on Wednesday.

Earlier a 1.1 percent rise in dairy prices in a Fonterra online auction and positive results from US banks bolstered sentiment, helping the kiwi to recover from a test of lower levels last night.

The Australian unemployment rate in December of 5.4 percent was in line with expectations.

The kiwi was at 74.11 yen at 5pm from 74.02 yen yesterday. It was at 63.19 euro from 63.28 euro and at 52.48 British pence from 52.34.

The trade-weighted index was at 75.40 from 75.30.


Comments and questions

Why do we allow foreign money traders to over-inflate our cuurency so they get rich and we all suffer the consequences. Wasn't John Key an international currency trader with mates all over the world. Just saying.