NZ dollar down with commodity prices sink

The kiwi advanced to 65.40 US cents at 8am in Wellington, from 65.29 cents at 5pm yesterday, while the Aussie held at 69.74 US cents from 69.72 cents.
The kiwi advanced to 65.40 US cents at 8am in Wellington, from 65.29 cents at 5pm yesterday, while the Aussie held at 69.74 US cents from 69.72 cents.

The New Zealand dollar fell as commodity prices sank on concern about weaker demand from China, the world's second-largest economy.

The kiwi declined to 65.36 US cents at 8am in Wellington, from 65.60 cents at 5pm yesterday. The trade-weighted index dropped to 72.11 from 72.27 yesterday.

The CRB Index, which measures a basket of 19 global commodities, hit a fresh 14-year low overnight, sliding 1.3 per cent to take its decline so far this year to 8 per cent. Oil prices fell on expectations of higher US stockpiles, industrial metal prices remained under pressure and gold declined. Commodity prices have weakened amid concern about a slowdown in the Chinese economy where officials are trying to stabilise volatile financial markets. That's weighing on commodity-linked currencies such as the kiwi.

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"The downbeat feel to the start of the year continued," ANZ Bank New Zealand agri economist Con Williams and markets economist Daniel Wilson said in a note. "With commodities printing fresh lows, China intervening in the market, and any bounce in US equities lacking conviction, risks remain to the downside for the New Zealand dollar."

ANZ expects the kiwi to trade between 64.90 US cents and 65.80 cents today.

In New Zealand today, state-owned valuer Quotable Value is scheduled to release its December monthly housing data, and its 2015 "Year in Review" at midday.

This afternoon, all eyes will be on the publication of China's December trade data, which is expected to a show a continued decline in imports and exports. China is New Zealand's largest trading partner.

The New Zealand dollar advanced to 45.33 British pence from 45.15 pence yesterday after weaker-than-expected UK data. British industrial output declined 0.7 per cent in November, below economists' forecasts for an unchanged reading, and the sharpest fall since early 2013. UK manufacturing data also disappointed, showing a 0.4 per cent decline for the second month running, prompting analysts to lower growth forecasts for the fourth quarter of 2015, Reuters reported.

The kiwi fell to 93.53 Australian cents from 93.88 cents yesterday, slipped to 76.80 yen from 77.08 yen, and declined to 4.2942 yuan from 4.3129 yuan. It was little changed at 60.23 euro cents from 60.28 cents yesterday.

- BusinessDesk

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