NZ dollar declines

new zealand dollar3The New Zealand has dollar dropped below 73 US cents ahead of the Reserve Bank’s policy review, which will likely see interest rates held as other central banks are poised to start hiking.

The kiwi fell to US72.52c as at 0800 in Wellington from US73.07c late on Wednesday.

The trade-weighted index declined to 74.53 from 74.79 on Wednesday.

RBNZ acting governor Grant Spencer is expected to keep the official cash rate at a record low 1.75 per cent and affirm projections for the benchmark rate to stay unchanged until at least next year as the central bank contends with persistently low inflation.

Fourth-quarter consumers price index figures were surprisingly soft, although global inflation may start rearing its head after strong wage growth in the US stoked expectations the Federal Reserve will raise rates more aggressively, triggering a bout of market volatility at the start of the week which has cooled in the past two days.

“It doesn’t feel like a backdrop where the RBNZ will feel comfortable going out on a limb and taking a strong view – or at least a view that significantly departs from its previous thinking,” ANZ Bank New Zealand senior economist Phil Borkin said.

“Despite appearing to be on the back foot at the time of writing, it is likely to take quite a dovish RBNZ statement (which is not really our expectation) to knock it down in a sustained fashion.”

The kiwi was little changed at A92.69c from A92.92.68c on Wednesday ahead of Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe’s speech to a business audience tonight.

The RBA will release its monetary policy statement on Friday, having kept the target cash rate at 1.5 per cent on Tuesday.

The local currency declined to 4.5433 Chinese yuan from 4.5698 yuan on Wednesday and fell to 79.25 yen from 79.89 yen.

It dropped to 59.13 euro cents from 59.98 euro cents on Wednesday and traded at 52.29 British pence from 52.34 pence.


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