The New Zealand dollar consolidated below 70 US cents, recovering some ground from Friday's selloff in New York after a survey showed a pickup in business confidence led by the construction industry.
The kiwi traded at 69.79 US cents as at 5 pm in Wellington, having dropped to a six-month low of 69.27 cents in New York on Friday, from 70.27 cents in Asia at the end of last week. The trade-weighted index was at 77.58, up from 77.42 in New York and down from 78.05 in Wellington on Friday.
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A net 21.7 percent of firms in the ANZ Business Outlook survey were optimistic about the general outlook for the economy in December, up from 20.5 per cent of firms last month. A net 31 per cent of firms expect to be more profitable in the coming year, up from 29.4 percent a month earlier, and a net 25.6 percent want to raise prices, up from 20.8 per cent in November, the survey showed. The survey comes ahead of Thursday's gross domestic product report, which is expected to show the economy continues to grow at a steady clip, while traders are also awaiting the latest dairy auction this week.
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"It's recovered from Friday's sell-off after the confidence data was better that the previous month," said Stuart Ive, senior client adviser for OM Financial. The survey showed that businesses, in particular in the construction sector, remain upbeat. While there was some risk the kiwi could fall further, Ive said the latest drop was largely due to an "over-extended USD" and noted that holiday-thinned trading could be exacerbating the move.
The kiwi has been under pressure since the US Federal Reserve raised the target federal funds rate a quarter-point and signalled a more aggressive hiking track for 2017 than expected. It took a further tumble overnight Friday after Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard told the Wall Street Journal that the US central bank should consider shrinking its balance sheet next year while saying more than one rate hike may be needed, a change of view for an official previously saying one increase was enough. Separately, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said the Fed may need to raise rates more than three times in 2017.
"It's that side of things that is really driving NZD," said Ive, although he noted a raft of domestic data could support the kiwi this week.
The kiwi rose to 95.64 Australian cents from 95.41 cents on Friday in Wellington. Ive said the focus remains on whether Australia might lose its prized triple-A credit rating after the government flagged a deeper budget deficit over the next four years in its mid-year budget update.
The local currency slipped to 4.8462 yuan from 4.8810 yuan and declined to 81.96 yen from 83.02 yen. It fell to 66.71 euro cents from 67.36 cents and dropped to 55.91 British pence from 56.62 pence.
New Zealand's two-year swap rate rose two basis points to 2.38 per cent, and 10-year swaps were unchanged at 3.57 per cent.