Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


NZ dollar falls; drop in jobless masks weak labour market

NZ dollar falls; drop in jobless rate masks weak labour market

By Paul McBeth

Feb. 7 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand fell after a fall in the headline unemployment rate masked underlying figures showing a weak labour market, and spooking investors who have been upbeat about the local economic recovery.

The kiwi fell to 83.52 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 84.17 cents at 8am and 84.45 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index dropped to 75.68 from 76.38 yesterday.

New Zealand's unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in the December quarter from a 13-year high in the September period, as an increasing number of people left the labour force. The participation rate fell to 67.2 percent, its lowest level in almost nine years and employment shrank 1 percent in the three months ended Dec. 31. Economists had been expecting perkier numbers as businesses ramp up hiring in the face of the Canterbury rebuild.

"The market was in the mood to play up the negatives in the employment release and that took the gloss of the currency," said Mike Jones, currency strategist at Bank of New Zealand in Wellington. "The labour market numbers provided food for thought for the kiwi dollar."

The local figures came out before Australian employment data, which showed the unemployment rate held at 5.4 percent across the Tasman as the number of jobs grew by 10,400 in December. While the headline figure is better across the Ditch, Australia's participation rate of 65 percent is below New Zealand's. The kiwi dollar fell to 80.99 Australian cents from 81.55 cents yesterday.

The fortunes of the trans-Tasman neighbours has been shifting in recent months, with a peak in Australia's mining boom coming in view and New Zealand's $30 billion-plus reconstruction effort in Canterbury gathering momentum.

That's seen the respective central banks in different phases, the Reserve Bank of Australia seen as likely to cut rates next month, while New Zealand's central bank on hold with its next move expected to be a hike.

The local currency dropped to 77.99 yen from 79.20 yen yesterday, and declined to 61.84 euro cents from 62.20 cents. The kiwi fell to 53.37 British pence from 53.94 pence yesterday.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Media: Julian Wilcox Leaves Māori TV

Māori Television has confirmed the resignation of Head of News and Production Julian Wilcox. Mr Maxwell acknowledged Mr Wilcox’s significant contribution to Māori Television since joining the organisation in 2004. More>>

ALSO:

Genetics: New Heat Tolerant Cow Developed

Hamilton, New Zealand-based Dairy Solutionz Ltd has led an expert genetics team to develop a new dairy cow breed conditioned to thrive in lower elevation tropical climates and achieve high milk production under heat stress. More>>

Fractals: Thousands More Business Cards Needed To Build Giant Sponge

New Zealand is taking part in a global event this weekend to build a Menger Sponge using 15 million business cards but local organisers say they are thousands of business cards short. More>>

Scoop Business: NZ Net Migration Rises To Annual Record In September

New Zealand’s annual net migration rose to a record in September, beating government forecasts, as the inflow was spurred by student arrivals from India and Kiwis returning home from Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Fletcher To Close Its Christchurch Insulation Plant, Cut 29 Jobs

Fletcher Building, New Zealand’s largest listed company, will close its Christchurch insulation factory, as it consolidates its Tasman Insulations operations in a “highly competitive market”. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Novartis Adds Nine New Treatments Under Pharmac Deal

Novartis New Zealand, the local unit of the global pharmaceuticals firm, has added nine new treatments in a far-ranging agreement with government drug buying agency, Pharmac. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: English Wary On Tax Take, Could Threaten Surplus

Finance Minister Bill English is warning the tax take may come in below forecast in the current financial year, as figures released today confirm it was short by nearly $1 billion in the year to June 30 and English warned of the potential impact of slumping receipts from agricultural exports. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news