Kiwi holds above 73USc as markets weigh up prospect of centre-right govt

ANZ Bank economist Con Williams says formation of centre-right government seems the most likely scenario, but not guaranteed as negotiations begin this week.

The New Zealand dollar held above 73 US cents after Saturday's general election saw the incumbent National Party win the most votes, putting it in the box seat to negotiate the formation of a new government.

The kiwi traded at 73.30 US cents as at 8am in Wellington from 73.39 cents on Friday in New York, and up from 72.83 cents at last week's local close. The trade-weighted index advanced to 76.66 from 76.33 last week.

The Bill English-led National Party won 46 percent of the popular vote on Saturday as it seeks to win a rare fourth term in government, more than the rival Labour-Green bloc with a combined 43 percent. Both groups need New Zealand First to secure a parliamentary majority, however leader Winston Peters has said he won't make a decision until Oct. 12 when the result is officially delivered to the Governor General.

"Formation of centre-right government seems the most likely scenario, but not guaranteed as negotiations begin this week," ANZ Bank New Zealand rural economist Con Williams said in a note. "While the NZD is expected to find initial support, a lack on final certainty is likely to make markets sensitive to coalition developments."

Locally, investors will be digesting Fonterra Cooperative Group's annual result which saw normalised EBIT drop 15% to $1.2 billion as a result of reduced margins across the business. That also influenced net profit after tax, down 11% at $745 million.

The co-operative has confirmed a final Cash Payout of $6.52 for the 2016/2017 season for share-backed suppliers, comprised of a farmgate milk price of $6.12 per kilogram of milk solids and a dividend of 40 cents per share. 

The kiwi was also bolstered by weakness in the greenback on Friday as tensions between the US and North Korea remain heightened.

The local currency traded at 61.46 euro cents from 61.41 cents on Friday in New York after exit polls showed Germany returned Angela Merkel's CDU/CSU alliance for a fourth term of government.

The kiwi decreased to 54.26 British pence from 54.38 pence last week and was little changed at 82.10 yen from 82.17 yen. It traded at 92.10 Australian cents from 92.15 cents last week and fell to 4.8304 Chinese yuan from 4.8363 yuan.

(BusinessDesk)


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NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.6966 0.0028 0.40%
AUD 0.8924 0.0035 0.39%
EUR 0.5931 0.0027 0.46%
GBP 0.5279 0.0018 0.34%
HKD 5.4343 0.0213 0.39%
JPY 78.9620 -0.2070 -0.26%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1278.6 -9.430 2017-10-20T00:
Oil Brent 57.8 0.550 2017-10-20T00:
Oil Nymex 51.9 0.580 2017-10-20T00:
Silver Index 17.0 -0.177 2017-10-20T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 8124.1 8142.3 8124.1 0.07%
NASDAQ 6633.4 6640.0 6605.1 0.36%
DAX 13014.6 13069.4 12991.3 0.09%
DJI 23205.2 23328.8 23163.0 0.71%
FTSE 7523.2 7542.0 7523.2 0.02%
HKSE 28557.8 28557.8 28487.2 -0.64%
NI225 21457.6 21696.7 21457.6 1.11%
ASX 5907.0 5925.3 5907.0 -0.22%