NZ Dollar Outlook: Kiwi may advance this week amid dearth of local data

Majority of polled currency strategists and traders expect currency to climb.

The New Zealand dollar may advance this week with little local data to provide new direction after it failed to decline following last week's US jobs data.

The kiwi may trade between 76.50 US cents and 80 cents this week, according to a BusinessDesk survey of nine currency strategists and traders. Six expect the currency to move higher, while two expect it to remain broadly unchanged and one says it could favour the downside. It was recently trading at 78.46 US cents.

The New Zealand dollar has advanced since touching a low of 76.16 US cents on Jan. 5 and traders are betting the lack of local data scheduled for release this week is unlikely to upset that trend. Helping buoy the kiwi, some investors are selling US dollars to bank profits after US data late last week showed better-than-expected jobs growth but weaker wage inflation.

"For this week we may see a bit of a bounce, " said Stuart Ive, senior dealer, foreign exchange, at OMF. "The current daily uptrend from the low seen on the 5th of January remains in place. It's a technical thing, primarily driven by profit taking in the US dollar. "

A close below 78.06 US cents would signal a reversal to the recent rally, Ive said.

In New Zealand this week, Quotable Value publishes its latest housing data for December on Wednesday, and the Real Estate Institute may also release its latest report. Statistics New Zealand publishes data on December electronic card spending on Wednesday, December food prices on Thursday and November's accommodation survey on Friday.

Meanwhile tomorrow, China, which is New Zealand's largest trading partner, publishes its latest trade data, including imports and exports for December.

In Australia this week, the focus will be on labour market data for December scheduled for release on Thursday.

Key data in the US this week includes retail sales on Wednesday, the NFIB small business index tomorrow, Atlanta Fed business expectations, business inventories, as well as import and export prices on Wednesday; the producer price index, Empire State manufacturing survey and Philadelphia Fed survey on Thursday; and the consumer price index, industrial production and consumer sentiment on Friday. The Fed also releases its Beige Book on Wednesday.

In the UK this week, the focus will be on tomorrow's December inflation data.

The Eurozone's final inflation report on Friday will confirm if the region slipped into deflation in December. Elsewhere in Europe, Germany's 2014 GDP is due out Thursday while Eurozone industrial production for November is published Wednesday.

(BusinessDesk)