NZ dollar rises as Spencer speech creates rate cut doubt

The kiwi rose to 72.24 US cents as at 8am in Wellington, up from about 71.50 cents just ahead of Spencer's speech late yesterday. Photo / Getty.
The kiwi rose to 72.24 US cents as at 8am in Wellington, up from about 71.50 cents just ahead of Spencer's speech late yesterday. Photo / Getty.

The New Zealand dollar gained overnight, making it a standout against a broadly stronger greenback, after Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer flagged concerns over house prices without announcing any immediate measures to tackle the problem, raising doubts the bank will cut interest rates again.

The kiwi rose to 72.24 US cents as at 8am in Wellington, up from about 71.50 cents just ahead of Spencer's speech late yesterday. The trade-weighted index rose to 77.36 from 76.72. That's the highest since May last year and well above the average 71.6 level the Reserve Bank is projecting for the third quarter.

Spencer told the Institute of Valuers that the Reserve Bank may introduce more stringent macroprudential tools before the end of the year, but would be helped if the government chose to revisit the impact that tax advantages on residential housing and migration policy are having on demand.

Some traders had expected more concrete steps to be announced, mitigating the impact lower interest rates would have on the housing market and giving the central bank more confidence to cut the official cash rate at its review in August.

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"After the bank has clearly re-stated its concerns regarding NZ house price appreciation, the market may now feel less confident that the RBNZ is on the verge of another OCR cut," said Kymberly Martin, senior market strategist at Bank of New Zealand.

The kiwi advanced to 96.65 Australian cents, the highest in almost 15 months, extending yesterday's gains when Standard & Poor's lowered the outlook on Australia's credit rating to negative from stable in the wake of an inconclusive election that has weakened support for the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's coalition.

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The US dollar index gained after data from payroll processor ADP from the US economy added 172,000 jobs in June, beating estimates, and stoking optimism the official non-farm payrolls figures due on Friday in the US will show the world's biggest economy added 180,000 jobs last month, bouncing back from an unexpectedly weak May report that showed just 38,000 jobs added.

The kiwi rose to 55.93 British pence from 54.78 pence yesterday and advanced to 72.78 yen from 72.61 yen. It gained to 65.27 euro cents from 64.49 cents and rose to 4.8209 yuan from 4.7674 yuan.

- BusinessDesk

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