The New Zealand dollar remained mired in the same narrow range it has been stuck in for the past fortnight, although with a slight bias to the upside.

That's because global markets continue to await definitive news on whether China will retaliate after US President Donald Trump signed a bill supporting protesters in Hong Kong.

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The kiwi was trading at 64.23 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 64.14 cents at 8am and 64.22 cents at 5pm yesterday. The trade-weighted index was at 71.22 from 71.15.

China's response to the new US law has been limited so far and markets are hoping it won't stop the two nations from signing a much-awaited preliminary trade deal.


Financial markets were particularly thin with the US closed for its Thanksgiving holiday.

Mike Shirley, a dealer at Kiwibank, says local data released earlier today – showing a slight improvement in consumer confidence and buoyant housing consents – had little impact on trading.

"It feeds into forecasts with everything else but it's not a currency mover," Shirley says.

The kiwi has traded between 64 and 64.37 US cents for the past couple of weeks and the trading range hasn't been much wider since the Reserve Bank decided to leave its official cash rate unchanged at 1 per cent on November 13.

The market had had a 25 basis point cut 80 per cent priced-in ahead of that decision and the surprise has led economists to re-evaluate their forecasts.

ASB Bank, for example, has taken the 25 point cut in February it had been forecasting off the table and now expects just one more cut to 0.75 per cent in May next year.

"We retain our view that growth will ultimately prove sub-par and undercut RBNZ expectations, but we don't think enough evidence of such will have accumulated by February to force the RBNZ's hand," ASB says.

Shirley says the currency "has just wobbled."


"t feels like it wants to break higher but we haven't had anything to give it that little bit of an extra kick."

The New Zealand dollar was trading at 94.83 Australian cents from 94.78, at 58.32 euro cents from 58.26, at 49.73 British pence from 49.67, at 70.32 yen from 70.23 yen, and at 4.5166 Chinese yuan from 4.5121 yuan.

The two-year swap rate edged up to a bid price of 1.1326 per cent from 1.1195 per cent yesterday while 10-year swaps rose to 1.4800 per cent from 1.4550 per cent.