The New Zealand dollar managed to consolidate its recent gains and to stay above 65.10 US cents despite a barrage of negative news.

This included sub-par GDP across the Tasman, the latest tariff threats from US President Donald Trump and another threat from China to retaliate if the US passes legislation supporting its Uighur population.

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The kiwi was trading at 65.14 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 65.15 cents at 8am and the trade-weighted index was at 72.13 points from 72.07.

Trump, in London for NATO's 70th anniversary ceremonies, has suggested he might not sign the long-promised preliminary trade deal with China and may let the tariffs scheduled for mid-December on China's remaining exports to the US take effect.


On top of that, Trump has imposed tariffs on steel imports from Brazil and Argentina, blaming those countries for artificially depressing their currencies when they're desperately trying to do the opposite in response to economic crises. Further tariffs have been threatened on imports into the US of everything from French Champagne to olives from Italy.

"He calls himself tariff man. It's that same old thing: when the only thing you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail," said Mike Shirley, a dealer at Kiwibank.

In the US, the lower house of congress passed in a 406-to-1 vote a strongly-worded bill paving the way for sanctions against Chinese officials because of human rights abuses against its Uighur population.

China's foreign ministry has said the bill "deliberately defames the human rights situation" in Xinjiang, the province where the Uighur live, and that China is fighting terrorism.

If the bill makes its way through the US senate and Trump signs it into law, Beijing would respond further, the ministry said without detailing what that response might be.

However, China's response to similar legislation Trump signed last week supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong was to suspend visits to Hong Kong by American warships and impose sanctions on several non-governmental groups.

Such relative restraint suggests China is wary of upsetting the trade negotiations.

The kiwi temporarily spiked as high as 65.28 US cents on Australian data showing that economy grew 0.4 per cent in the September quarter, below economists' forecasts for 0.5 per cent growth and the Reserve Bank of Australia's forecast of 0.7 per cent.


Shirley said the kiwi's spike on the news may have been "a knee-jerk reaction" or the result of algorithm-driven trading. It isn't great news for New Zealand when Australia is our second-largest trading partner, he noted.

The New Zealand dollar was trading at 95.36 Australian cents from 95.23 this morning and was unchanged at 58.78 euro cents and 50.10 British pence. It was at 70.72 yen from 70.73, and at 4.6047 Chinese yuan from 4.6002.

The two-year swap rate eased to a bid price of 1.1567 per cent from 1.1866 per cent yesterday while 10-year swaps fell to 1.5575 per cent from 1.6150 per cent.