NZ dollar little changed in spite of volatility

By Jonathan Underhill

Photo / File
Photo / File

The New Zealand dollar was little changed despite volatile global markets ahead of the US presidential vote and what's expected to be a cut in the official cash rate on Thursday.

The kiwi traded at 73.15 US cents as at 5pm in Wellington, from 73.28 cents in late New York trading on Friday. The trade-weighted index was little changed at 78.48 from 78.44.

The Mexican peso was recently down 1.7 per cent, gold futures have fallen and 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 at the end of last week.

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

Meanwhile the US dollar index rebounded today, having dropped to a month-low last week, and stocks rallied in Asia, with the NZX 50 Index gaining 2.4 per cent, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing in Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, lifting a cloud from her presidential campaign two days out from the vote, while 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.

"The market is still pretty nervous ahead of the election," said Tim Kelleher, head of institutional foreign exchange sales at ASB Bank. "We've got a rate cut coming up as well". Still, the kiwi may yet find support tonight given its tendency to correlate with growth assets such as stocks.

Traders are also looking ahead to the Reserve Bank's 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. Underlining the revival of inflation, Statistics New Zealand today revised its estimate of inflation in the third quarter, saying the consumers price index rose 0.3 per cent rather than the 0.2 per cent published last month.The annual pace was revised up to 0.4 per cent, twice the 0.2 per cent annual pace reported.

The local currency rose to 95.36 Australian cents from 95.22 cents at the end of last week. The kiwi rose to 4.9570 yuan from 4.9469 yuan in New York.

It rose to 58.73 British pence from 58.52 pence in New York on Friday and increased to 66.06 euro cents from 65.70 cents yesterday. It rose to 76.26 yen from 75.54 yen last week.

New Zealand's two-year swap rate increased 2 basis points to 2.18 per cent, and 10-year swaps gained 4 basis points to 2.87 per cent.

- BusinessDesk

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