NZ dollar falls against Aussie on strong employment data across the Tasman
By Hannah Lynch
April 12 (BusinessDesk) – The New Zealand dollar fell almost half a cent against the Australian dollar after data showed employers added almost seven times more workers than expected in March.
The New Zealand dollar fell to 78.97 Australian cents at 5pm from 79.31 at 8am. It traded at 79.35 cents at 5pm yesterday. The kiwi rose as high as 81.91 US cents immediately after the data, from 81.73 cents at 8am. The currency traded at 81.95 cents at 5pm down from 82.01 cents at 5pm yesterday.
Australian payrolls rose by 44,000, according to the statistics bureau in Sydney. That compares with a median estimate of 6,500 in a Bloomberg survey, while the jobless rate held at 5.2 percent, compared with expectations for a rise to 5.3 percent. The data helped to ease speculation that the Reserve Bank of Australia will cut interest rates at its May meeting. The rate remained unchanged at its March meeting on 4.25 percent.
“It was an absolute boomer – they were much stronger than expected and naturally the New Zealand dollar is weaker against the Aussie,” said Dan Bell, currency strategist at HiFX. “The kiwi/US has held up well throughout the afternoon as well before coming under some profit taking.”
In the US, the Federal Reserve’s vice chairman Janet Yellen endorsed the central bank’s “highly accommodative” policy, which has been boosting demand for high-yielding currencies such as the kiwi. Investors’ risk appetite gained momentum last week after a US Labor Department report revived speculation the Fed will embark on another round of quantitative easing.
“It again reiterates the view of the Fed chairmen (Ben Bernanke) – the idea is still being dangled and that will be a negative for the US dollar,” Bell said.
The US’s Michigan consumer confidence survey is set for release tomorrow. New Zealand has no more significant data set for release this week.
The New Zealand dollar was unchanged on 62.39 euro cents from 5pm yesterday and was little-changed on 51.42 British pence from 51.44 pence. The kiwi rose to 66.35 yen from 65.98 yen.
The trade weighted index was little changed on 73.05 from 73.01.