Kiwi gains vs euro as Draghi reiterates stimulus pledge

n New Zealand, traders will be watching for the November manufacturing PMI this morning.

The New Zealand dollar rose against the euro after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi reiterated his commitment to providing monetary stimulus in the eurozone, even while the bank lifted its growth and inflation forecasts.

The kiwi dollar advanced to 59.27 euro cents as at 8:30am in Wellington from 59.15 cents late yesterday. It traded at 69.93 US cents from 70.01 cents yesterday, having gained following the Federal Reserve's rate hike that came with a less upbeat view on inflation.

The ECB says it expects economic growth will quicken to 2.3 percent in 2018, up from its September forecast of 1.8 percent, before slowing to 1.9 percent in 2019 (also an uplift) and 1.7 percent in 2020. Inflation is seen at 1.4 percent next year, up from the September estimate of 1.4 percent and reaching 1.7 percent in 2020, below its target of 2 percent. But it cut its core inflation forecast for 2018 and Draghi said at a media conference that an "ample degree" of stimulus was still needed and domestic price pressures "remain muted overall".

"Draghi remained cautious about inflation in the press conference," said Nick Smyth, interest rate strategist at Bank of New Zealand, in a note. "Although the ECB had already decided to halve its QE programme to 30 billion euros per month starting in January, it's hard to imagine the ECB raising rates without a more significant pick-up in inflation."

The kiwi traded at 52.04 British pence from 52.11 pence yesterday after the Bank of England reiterated that it sees "further modest increases in interest rates in coming years".

In New Zealand, traders will be watching for the November manufacturing PMI this morning for another take on business sentiment after a drop in the ANZ Business Outlook.

The trade-weighted index was at 73.68 from 73.76. The kiwi fell to 78.46 yen from 78.83 yen ahead of the release later today of Japan's Tankan confidence survey for the fourth quarter and tonight the US releases November industrial production.

The kiwi slipped to 91.14 Australian cents from 91.30 cents late yesterday, when the Aussie jumped after data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed 61,600 new jobs were added in November versus expectations for 19,000. It traded at 4.6217 yuan from 4.6278 yuan.

(BusinessDesk)