Dollar trades off lows on buying ahead of MPS

 The New Zealand dollar recovered from intraday lows amid buying ahead of the monetary policy statement on Thursday, as traders speculate the central bank could be less dovish than the market is pricing.

The kiwi rose to 85 US cents from 84.88 cents at 8am to be lower than in late trading yesterday at around 85.13 cents. The trade weighted index traded at 79.28 from 79.16 at the start of the day.

The Reserve Bank is poised to raise the official cash rate to 3.25 percent on Thursday, although opinions differ whether governor Graeme Wheeler will either project a lower track for OCR increases or reiterate some 200 basis points of tightening by late 2015 or early 2016. An International Monetary Fund report on New Zealand today painted a relatively upbeat picture of an economy it sees growing 3.5 percent this year. Traders don't want to bet on a weaker track by shorting the kiwi dollar and bid the currency up when it has fallen recently.

"Whenever it sells off, like it did overnight, buyers will come back in," said Imre Speizer, senior market strategist at Westpac Banking Corp. "They don't want to go into the RBNZ short the kiwi."

Investors will be watching for signals on the pace of OCR increases in the MPS although Wheeler may not project the timing of hikes this year, Speizer said. Wheeler wants to avoid sending a message that there will be a pause in rate hikes this year, given rates are still accommodative.

The New Zealand dollar traded at 90.83 Australian cents from 91.02 cents the previous day.

The kiwi was little changed at 62.54 euro cents from 62.40 cents yesterday and edged lower to 50.54 British pence from 50.65 pence ahead of data on UK industrial production. The local currency slipped to 86.93 yen from 87.29 yen yesterday.

(BusinessDesk)

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NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7788 0.0010 0.13%
AUD 0.9516 0.0000 0.00%
EUR 0.6344 0.0016 0.25%
GBP 0.4976 0.0012 0.24%
HKD 6.0397 0.0072 0.12%
JPY 92.9870 0.4420 0.48%

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 9711.6 9811.1 9544.4 2.79%
DJI 17367.8 17778.4 17356.9 2.43%
FTSE 6336.5 6466.0 6336.5 2.04%
HKSE 23158.3 23189.6 22832.2 1.33%
NI225 17511.0 17621.4 17210.0 2.39%