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Kiwi slips – jobs report expected to show tepid growth

The New Zealand dollar declined ahead of employment figures for the fourth quarter, which are expected to show tepid growth in jobs and a falling unemployment rate.

The kiwi fell to 84.18 US cents from 84.45 US cents in Asia yesterday. The trade-weighted index declined to 76.25 from 76.41.

The Household Labour Force Survey, released later this morning, will show jobs grew 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter after a similar-sized decline in the previous three months, according to a Reuters survey. The jobless rate probably fell to 7.1 percent from 7.3 percent.

The report follows figures on Tuesday showing only modest wage and labour market growth, giving the central bank no cause to rush to raise interest rates.

"The data is notoriously 'noisy'," says Kymberly Martin, a strategist at Bank of New Zealand. "Any positive surprise would likely see the currency re-test recent highs at US$0.8480, though there is strong resistance at this level."

The kiwi dollar also weakened as US stocks fell and the euro declined against the American dollar ahead of the European Central Bank's next meeting.

The kiwi rose to 62.30 euro cents from 62.20 cents. It gained to 81.63 Australian cents from 81.55 cents ahead of employment data across the Tasman today.

It fell to 78.61 yen from 79.20 yen and gained to 53.72 British pence from 53.93 pence.

(BusinessDesk)