NZ dollar falls after strong US jobs data; continuing China concern

The kiwi was at 65.46 US cents at 8am in Wellington, from 65.38 cents at the New York close and 66.44 cents at 5pm on Friday.
The kiwi was at 65.46 US cents at 8am in Wellington, from 65.38 cents at the New York close and 66.44 cents at 5pm on Friday.

The New Zealand dollar fell after a better-than-expected US jobs report and amid continued investor concern about a slowdown in China.

The kiwi was at 65.46 US cents at 8am in Wellington, from 65.38 cents at the New York close and 66.44 cents at 5pm on Friday. The trade-weighted index dropped to 72.24 from 72.99 on Friday.

In the US on Friday, data showed employers added 292,000 jobs in December, exceeding the 200,000 forecast in a Reuters poll of economists, although a lack of wage inflation stoked speculation the Federal Reserve may not hike interest rates in the first quarter of this year. Meanwhile, focus on China, the world's second-largest economy and New Zealand's largest trading partner, continues as a slump in the stock market and weaker economic data weigh on the outlook.

"The kiwi has been in a downward decline since coming in to the New Year and the US data on Friday will add strength to a continuation in that direction," said Stuart Ive, senior dealer, foreign exchange, at OMF.

"The pressure remains to the downside. We will all be focused on the Chinese stock market. Given the volatile moves we saw last week, I think we will see a continuation of that today. We start the week on a cautious note and it looks like the kiwi will continue to edge lower."

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In New Zealand today, November building consent data is scheduled for release and Westpac Bank publishes its survey of regional confidence for the fourth quarter of 2015.

It is a public holiday in Japan today, which means Asian trading may be quiet, OMF's Ive said. In New Zealand, many people are returning to work today after taking holidays over the Christmas and New Year period.

The New Zealand dollar slipped to 93.97 Australian cents from 94.11 cents on Friday, fell to 59.95 euro cents from 61.03 cents, dropped to 45.04 British pence from 45.38 pence, declined to 76.75 yen from 78.55 yen, and weakened to 4.3159 yuan from 4.3773 yuan.

- BusinessDesk

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