Kiwi strong against weak yen

The New Zealand dollar was firm against a weak yen on a day in which Prime Minister John Key noted the benefits of a strong currency and economists reiterated that it will be strong for much of 2013.

The kiwi was at 75.67 yen at 5pm, having traded as high as 75.70 yen from 75.30 yen at 8am. That compared to 75.24 at 5pm yesterday.

But it fell to 83.63 US cents at 5pm from 83.80 cents at 8am and 84.32 cents at 5pm yesterday.

The focus in afternoon trading was on Bank of Japan policy meeting minutes. Reuters reported that member Koji Ishida proposed cutting the interest rate for the bank's fixed-rate market operation and other loan schemes to 0.03 percent from 0.1 percent.

That and another measure were turned down but the debate underlined the pressure the Japanese central bank is under to ease monetary policy more aggressively to help pull the economy out of deflation.

It was a contrast to Mr Key's observation that a strong NZ dollar reflected strength in the country's terms of trade. He said the high kiwi made goods cheaper for consumers.

His comments come as BNZ economists put an end-year target of 81.00 US cents on the kiwi, suggesting it will be high for some time.

BNZ says the liquidity being sprayed around by the big central banks around the world merely reinforced the fact that the New Zealand economy was in a better position.

The kiwi was at 80.08 Australian cents at 5pm, unchanged from its level at 8am, and down slightly from 80.17 at 5pm yesterday.

The kiwi was at 53.02 British pence from 53.27 pence and at 62.61 euro from 63.32.

The trade-weighted index was at 75.42 from 75.64.

(BusinessDesk)

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NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7739 -0.0007 -0.09%
AUD 0.9509 0.0005 0.05%
EUR 0.6314 -0.0022 -0.35%
GBP 0.4952 -0.0005 -0.10%
HKD 6.0023 -0.0050 -0.08%
JPY 92.7870 0.2030 0.22%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1195.4 -2.890 2014-12-19T00:
Oil Brent 61.4 1.580 2014-12-19T00:
Oil Nymex 57.1 2.910 2014-12-19T00:
Silver Index 16.0 0.096 2014-12-19T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5527.8 5553.7 5527.8 0.25%
NASDAQ 4759.0 4779.2 4765.4 -0.02%
DAX 9827.3 9924.0 9787.0 0.78%
DJI 17812.2 17899.7 17804.8 0.42%
FTSE 6545.3 6620.9 6545.3 0.44%
HKSE 23264.0 23478.9 23116.6 1.26%
NI225 17685.5 17692.6 17621.4 0.08%