Kiwi nears 84 US cents on prospect of more Fed easing

The New Zealand dollar rose to a nine-month high as it looks to break 84 US cents with the Federal Reserve set to review monetary policy amid expectations it will roll out American printing presses for a fourth time.

The kiwi traded at 83.89 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 83.83 cents at 8.30am and up 83.43 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index advanced to 76.92 from 74.66 yesterday.

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to announce interest rates will stay near zero at the end of the Federal Open Market Committee's two-day meeting, though markets are gearing up for another round of asset purchases.

The Fed's Operation Twist, which sees the central bank buy long-dated bonds and sell shorter maturities, expires this month and analysts are betting it will be replaced with more asset purchases.

"If they announce another round of quantitative easing, or what the market's calling QE4, we'll probably see the US dollar come under further pressure," says Dan Bell, currency strategist at HiFX in Auckland. The kiwi "looks top heavy, but this time of year favours risky currencies".

He says the currency may struggle to get above 84.50 US cents, though some international economists are predicting the kiwi may go as high as 90 US cents next year.

"You can count on one hand the number of times the New Zealand has got over 84 cents since the free float of the currency." 

The Fed's meeting comes against the backdrop of protracted negotiations between US policymakers to try and reach accord on stopping $US600 billion of tax increases and spending cuts from kicking in on January 1.

The kiwi was little changed at 64.53 euro cents from 64.51 cents yesterday and gained to 52.09 British pence from 51.89 pence. It rose to 69.18 yen from 68.70 yen and was little changed at 79.68 Australian cents from 79.66 cents yesterday.

(BusinessDesk)

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NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7897 0.0038 0.48%
AUD 0.9124 0.0008 0.09%
EUR 0.6282 0.0016 0.26%
GBP 0.5027 0.0017 0.34%
HKD 6.1250 0.0286 0.47%
JPY 92.6430 -0.2990 -0.32%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1193.4 -0.480 2014-11-20T00:
Oil Brent 78.7 -0.130 2014-11-20T00:
Oil Nymex 75.8 1.320 2014-11-20T00:
Silver Index 16.1 -0.150 2014-11-20T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5526.9 5526.9 5526.9 -0.49%
NASDAQ 4655.2 4703.0 4675.7 0.56%
DAX 9460.4 9487.7 9472.8 0.12%
DJI 17677.3 17720.4 17685.7 0.19%
FTSE 6696.6 6696.8 6696.6 -0.26%
HKSE 23353.7 23378.9 23349.6 0.03%
NI225 17285.7 17285.7 17300.9 -1.09%