Kiwi down as greenback up before US data

The kiwi slid to 68.77 US cents at 8am in Wellington, from 69.02 cents at 5pm yesterday. . Photograph by Greg Bowker
The kiwi slid to 68.77 US cents at 8am in Wellington, from 69.02 cents at 5pm yesterday. . Photograph by Greg Bowker

The New Zealand dollar fell as the greenback rose ahead of a key US jobs report, and after upbeat comments from Federal Reserve officials.

The kiwi slid to 68.77 US cents at 8am in Wellington, from 69.02 cents at 5pm yesterday. The trade-weighted index was at 73.02 from 73.08 yesterday.

The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, advanced to a week-high after two Fed officials, James Bullard and John Williams, offered upbeat comments on the US jobs market and suggested an interest rate hike in June is not off the table.

Today, the focus will turn to the US government's monthly jobs data which is expected to show US companies added 200,000 workers to their payrolls in April, according to a Bloomberg poll.

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"The market is awaiting the key release of the week, the US employment report," Bank of New Zealand senior market strategist Kymberly Martin said in a note.

"In order to maintain the rebound in the US dollar, a solid payrolls release would likely need to be accompanied by stronger-than-expected average hourly earnings growth. This could prompt the market into increasing its expectations for Fed rate hikes this year. Currently the market only prices around a 50 percent chance of one more Fed rate hike by year-end."

With no domestic data scheduled for today, the fate of the kiwi heading into the weekend lies with the release of the US employment report, Martin said.

The kiwi has support at 68 US cents and faces resistance at 70.50 cents, she said.

The New Zealand dollar edged up to 92.15 Australian cents from 92.08 cents yesterday.

The Reserve Bank of Australia publishes its statement on monetary policy today.

The local currency gained to 60.29 euro cents from 60.10 cents yesterday. It slid to 47.48 British pence from 47.56 pence, declined to 73.74 yen from 73.92, and fell to 4.4723 yuan from 4.4863 yuan.

- BusinessDesk

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