Kiwi falls vs greenback, reaches 8-month high vs Aussie

The New Zealand dollar fell against the US dollar in the face of easing concerns about a global trade war and gained to an eight-month high against the Aussie on further signs of weak prices for commodities such as iron ore.

The kiwi dollar fell to 72.63 US cents as at 8:30am in Wellington from 72.88 cents late yesterday. The kiwi traded at 94.52 Australian cents and earlier touched 94.67 cents, the highest since July last year, from 94.14 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index was little changed at 74.54 from 74.53.

US economic data was mixed overnight, with the Conference Board consumer confidence index in March coming in at a lower-than-expected 127.7 while the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices showed continued gains in house prices. The US dollar index gained 0.4 percent overnight. The kiwi extended its gains against the Australian dollar as Fortescue Metals cut its iron ore price guidance.

"The NZD is a little weaker than this time yesterday, in line with the appreciation in the USD overnight," said Nick Smyth, interest rate strategist at Bank of New Zealand, in a note. "NZD/AUD has pushed on to fresh highs, and is currently sitting just above 0.9450 (the AUD has once again been one of the underperformers amongst G10 FX)."

In a generally quiet week for domestic data, the ANZ Business Outlook is due out at 1pm NZ time today which will provide a fresh reading on business confidence and activity.

The New Zealand dollar traded at 58.56 euro cents from 58.52 cents late yesterday as the market shrugged off comments from a European Central Bank official that the bank's quantitative easing programme could be extended.

"The market expects QE to finish in either September or December this year, with the real debate to centre on the timing and scale of any rate rises in 2019," Smyth said. "The first (10 basis point) hike is priced-in for June next year."

The kiwi dollar fell to 4.5592 yuan from 4.5621 yuan yesterday and declined to 76.62 yen from 76.97 yen.

(BusinessDesk)

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