Dollar touches month-high vs sterling after BOE talks down currency

The New Zealand dollar touched a month-high against the British pound after a Bank of England official talked down the value of sterling.

The kiwi rose as high as 50.92 British pence early this morning, matching the level it reached a month ago, and was trading at 50.84 pence at 8am in Wellington from 50.56 pence at 5pm yesterday. The local currency was little changed at 84.64 US cents from 84.61 cents yesterday.

Sterling weakened after Bank of England deputy governor Charlie Bean said further appreciation of the currency may dent exports and hamper the UK's economic recovery. The BOE isn't alone in trying to lower the value of its currency with Australian officials recently making a concerted effort to push down the value of the Aussie to boost economic growth. Traders will be looking to New Zealand Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler on Thursday to see if he comments on the elevated level of New Zealand's currency in a meeting where he is widely expected to hike rates.

"The Bank of England's Bean was the latest in a long line of global central bank officials to talk down their currency", Kymberly Martin, markets strategist at Bank of New Zealand, said in a note. "In this regard, it will be interest to see what the RBNZ has in store for the NZD at this Thursday's meeting."

In New Zealand today, the Real Estate Institute will publish its latest figures on house sales for February about 9am. Electronic card transaction data for February will be released at 10:45am while the latest Crown accounts will be published at 10am.

In Australia, the key focus will be on the latest NAB business survey where signs of further improvement may arrest the kiwi's climb against the Aussie. The New Zealand dollar touched a week high of 93.92 Australian cents and was trading at 93.83 cents at 8am from 93.53 cents at 5pm yesterday.

The local currency inched up to 60.99 euro cents from 60.91 cents yesterday and edged up to 87.32 yen from 87.22 yen ahead of a Bank of Japan meeting today where no change is expected. The trade-weighted index gained to 79.33 from 79.19.

(BusinessDesk)

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NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7762 -0.0016 -0.21%
AUD 0.9515 -0.0001 -0.01%
EUR 0.6326 -0.0002 -0.03%
GBP 0.4958 -0.0006 -0.12%
HKD 6.0202 -0.0123 -0.20%
JPY 92.6920 0.1470 0.16%

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 0.09%
DJI 17367.8 17778.4 17356.9 2.43%
FTSE 6466.0 6521.7 6466.0 0.14%
HKSE 23158.3 23189.6 22832.2 1.25%
NI225 17511.0 17621.4 17210.0 2.39%