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Sellers knock kiwi lower in overnight trading

The New Zealand dollar got a kicking in overnight trading but looked to be getting up off the floor this morning.

The kiwi was at 83.13 US cents at 8am, having fallen sharply from 83.50 cents to 82.80 cents, its lowest level since January 4. It had been at 83.59 cents at 5pm yesterday at the end of a day of reduced activity because of holidays in Auckland and Australia.

It fell to 79.89 Australian cents at 8am from 80.22 cents at 5pm yesterday.

"There's been no major headlines. Basically some technical selling came through the 83.50 cent area and on the kiwi-Aussie cross ahead of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand statement this week," says Stuart Ive at HiFX.

"It is basically market positioning."

BNZ economists today said RBNZ governor Graeme Wheeler will play things down the middle at Thursday's official cash review, keeping the official cash rate at 2.5 percent and his rhetoric vague and open-ended.

Mr Ive says some people are expecting a dovish tone from the RBNZ. "Personally, I don't expect them to come out with too much."

The RBNZ cash-rate review is one the same morning as a US Federal Reserve Open Market Committee statement, making Thursday a big day for markets.

A speech by Mr Wheeler and US employment data on Saturday NZ time will round out what is expected to ultimately be a busy week for markets.

Economists are predicting 168,000 new jobs were created in January in the US, up from 155,000 in December.

The kiwi was at 61.80 euro cents from 62.16 at 5pm yesterday. The euro had surged on Friday on hopes the financial system there is improving.

Foreign exchange dealers are also monitoring the discovery of traces of Dicyandiamide, or DCD, in New Zealand milk products and say the next Fonterra milk powder auction will be interesting next Tuesday, February 5.

The kiwi was at 75.47 yen from 76.13 at 5pm yesterday. It was at 52.99 British pence from 53.06 pence.

The trade-weighted index was at 74.95 from 75.34.

(BusinessDesk)