The New Zealand dollar is heading for a 1.5 per cent fall this week ahead of the final vote count and as hopes for US tax reforms and rate hikes push up the greenback.

The kiwi traded at US70.96c at 5pm yesterday versus US71.13c at 8am and from US71.53c on Thursday. It traded at US72.05c in New York a week ago. The trade-weighted index declined to 75.23 from 75.55 on Thursday.

The greenback got a lift yesterday after the Republican-controlled House of Representatives narrowly approved a fiscal 2018 spending blueprint containing a legislative tool enabling a tax bill to pass by a simple majority vote in the Senate, where they hold 52 of 100 seats, according to Reuters. The vote was viewed as being one step nearer to the tax reform.

The focus is also on US jobs data for September, which are expected to show 90,000 jobs were added last month versus 156,000 in August, after the hurricane impact.


Recent solid data out of the US and comments from Federal Reserve officials have increased expectations of a US rate hike in December.

New Zealand's two-year swap rate rose 1 basis point to 2.20 per cent, and 10-year swaps rose 2 basis point to 3.25 per cent.

Domestically, investors will be watching for the final general election vote count today, meaning political parties will be able to kick off formal negotiations to form a Government. CMC Markets trader Sheldon Slabbert said if the eventual Government is led by National it will be positive for the kiwi, whereas if it is led by a Labour-Green coalition the currency might lose some ground. Any move, however, would be short-lived "given that the US dollar is on the march higher".

The kiwi traded at 60.65 euro cents from 60.84 cents on Thursday. The local currency rose to 54.26 British pence from 54.01p on Thursday and was at A91.51c from A91.37c on Thursday. It traded at 4.7212 Chinese yuan from 4.7591 yuan and dropped to 80.09 yen from 80.64 yen on Thursday.