The New Zealand dollar was broadly unchanged after being tossed about, first higher as US equities rallied into that market's Thursday close and then dragged lower by mixed economic data out of China.
The kiwi was trading at 59.94 US cents at 5pm in Wellington, off the day's high at 60.16 cents but also above the low in the past 24 hours at 59.61 cents. The trade-weighted index was at 67.95 from 67.83 yesterday.
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The domestic currency looks like it will end the week well over a US cent lower than its 61.36 cent level at the New York close last Friday
US stocks were weaker through most of the Thursday session but the broad measure of that market, the S&P 500 Index, ended 1.2 per cent higher.
That was despite data showing almost 3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the last week, taking the total number of new claims in the wake of the coronavirus crisis to nearly 36.5 million.
Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp, said China's industrial production data came in better than forecast, up 3.9 per cent year-on-year, but Chinese retail sales data missed expectations, falling 7.5 per cent.
"It's easier getting factories going than getting consumers up and running," Innes said. "But consumer consumption beyond China needs to pick up in full tilt. Otherwise, the nascent recovery in industrial output will also start tapering off," he said.
Mike Shirley, a dealer at Kiwibank, said the "less than stellar Chinese data mid-afternoon weighed on sentiment."
As to the flightless bird's likely direction next week, "there are arguments both ways. Either we rally further from here or fall away."
One factor weighing in the mix is US President Donald Trump escalating tensions with China – overnight Thursday, he said the US could cut all ties with China over the coronavirus pandemic.
The market hadn't reacted to that so far, but perhaps that's because Trump has made a habit of picking fights with China and then made up.
"I don't know whether it's because the world's got other things to concentrate on, like Covid-19, or maybe the world's got used to the rhetoric," Shirley said.
The past week was a major one for domestic financial markets with the Reserve Bank almost doubling its money-printing programme to $60 billion and the government's budget ramping up spending by another $50b on top of the $12 million announced in March.
Both the government and central bank actions are designed to cushion New Zealand's economy from the fallout from the crisis.
Shirley said he had attended a virtual meeting organised by London-based Barclays overnight.
"A lot of the feedback from the offshore guys" was that perhaps the New Zealand authorities had gone too far, but that they appear to have stamped out the virus here – there was one new infection reported today, a person related to a known cluster who had previously tested negative twice – and government debt had a very low starting point, allowing the government plenty of leeway, he said.
"It's the hallmark of the government's response and the Reserve Bank's response to go in all guns blazing," Shirley said.
"The flip side is the kiwi will only do well if the world's doing well and buying our stuff." If nobody buys New Zealand's exports, "being a little exporting nation of high-quality goods is not necessarily that great."
The New Zealand dollar was trading at 92.76 Australian cents at 5pm from 92.97 cents at 5.30pm yesterday. It was at 49.06 British pence from 49 pence, at 55.47 euro cents from 55.33 cents, at 64.26 yen from 63.90 yen and at 4.2560 Chinese yuan from 4.2443 yuan.
The bid price on the two-year swap rate closed at 0.1050 per cent from 0.1030 per cent yesterday while 10-year swaps were at 0.5900 per cent from 0.6250 per cent.