NZ dollar unchanged
The New Zealand dollar is little changed as US President Donald Trump tweeted that he’s asked China to reduce its trade imbalance with America and figures showed the US trade deficit at its highest since October 2008.
The kiwi traded at US72.78 cents as at 0830 on Thursday in Wellington from US72.88c late Wednesday. The trade-weighted index was at 74.70 from 74.77.
In a week where Trump’s trade ambitions remained in focus, his economic adviser Gary Cohn quit, having opposed the president’s plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports to protect US industry.
Overnight Trump tweeted that he’d asked China to cut its trade imbalance with the US by $US1 billion while figures showed the US January trade deficit was a wider-than-expected $US56.6b and the gap with China jumped 17 per cent to $US36b.
“It was another night where there were numerous headlines and comments related to the US’s latest stance on trade,” said ANZ senior economist Philip Borkin.
“At times it has been hard to get an accurate steer on what that stance actually is.”
Trump’s request to China to reduce the trade imbalance “is barely a rounding error considering the US-China imbalance was $US36b in January alone. Perhaps it hints that Washington’s appetite for a trade war is actually not that high”.
On Thursday morning, the kiwi slipped to 93.16 Australian cents having reached A93.36c on Thursday.
It was little changed at 58.66 euro cents and 4.6015 yuan, rose to 77.15 yen from 77 yen and traded at 52.39 British pence from 52.44p.