NZ dollar edges up as greenback sinks to month-low ahead of election

The kiwi traded at 73.17 US cents as at 8am in Wellington, from 73.28 cents in late New York trading on Friday. Photo / 123RF
The kiwi traded at 73.17 US cents as at 8am in Wellington, from 73.28 cents in late New York trading on Friday. Photo / 123RF

The New Zealand dollar edged up as the greenback fell to a month-low ahead of what's expected to be a close-run US presidential election.

The kiwi traded at 73.17 US cents as at 8am in Wellington, from 73.28 cents in late New York trading on Friday and from 73.14 cents in Asia at the end of last week. The trade-weighted index was at 78.44, little changed from Friday in New York and from 78.35 in Wellington on Friday.

See live rates for the NZ-US $ below. Click for more information:NzForex Foreign Exchange Transfers

The US dollar index fell to its lowest level in almost a month on Friday and the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, or VIX, known as Wall Street's fear gauge, rose to the highest level in more than four weeks after US non-farm payrolls showed the US economy added 161,000 jobs in October, just shy of the 173,000 expected by economists. Meanwhile, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal national poll showed 44 per cent support for Democrat Hillary Clinton to 40 per cent for Republican Donald Trump, while the New York Times wrote in an editorial that a Trump victory would be a "catastrophe".

"A decent US jobs report (after revisions) saw only a brief market response, the focus remaining on Tuesday's US election, the mood risk averse," Imre Speizer, senior market strategist at Westpac Banking Corp, said in a report. "Tuesday's election is shaping up to be a close race."

Traders are also looking ahead to the monetary policy statement on Thursday, where governor Graeme Wheeler is widely expected to cut the official cash rate a quarter point to 1.75 per cent. That may mark the low point in the easing cycle, as the bank's last projections were for inflation to return to the bottom end of its 1 per cent-to-3 per cent target range for annual inflation in the fourth quarter.

"Markets are now assuming the widely expected rate cut on 10 November will be the last in this cycle (barring an offshore-sourced shock)," Speizer said.

The local currency traded at 95.22 Australian cents, little changed from last week. The kiwi was at 4.9415 yuan, down from 4.9469 yuan in New York and 4.9456 yuan in Wellington last week. It fell to 58.44 British pence from 58.52 pence in New York on Friday and increased to 65.82 euro cents from 65.70 cents yesterday. It edged up to 75.61 yen from 75.54 yen last week.

- BusinessDesk

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