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

 

Tourism: China Southern Airlines To Fly To Christchurch

China Southern Airlines, in partnership with Christchurch Airport and the South Island tourism industry, has announced today it will begin flying directly between Guangzhou, Mainland China and the South Island. More>>

ALSO:

Dodgy: Truck Shops Come Under Scrutiny

Mobile traders, or truck shops, target poorer communities, particularly in Auckland, with non-compliant contracts, steep prices and often lower-quality goods than can be bought at ordinary shops, a Commerce Commission investigation has found. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Transport: Government, Council Agree On Funding Approach

The government and Auckland Council have reached a detente over transport funding, establishing a one-year, collaborative timetable for decisions on funding for the city's transport infrastructure growth in the next 30 years after the government refused to fund the $2 billion of short and medium-term plans outlined in Auckland's draft Unitary Plan. More>>

ALSO:

Bullish On China Shock: Slumping Equities, Commodities May Continue, But Not A GFC

The biggest selloff in stock markets in at least four years, slumping commodity prices and a surge in Wall Street's fear gauge don't mean the world economy is heading for another global financial crisis, fund managers say. More>>

ALSO:

Real Estate: Investors Driving Up Auckland Housing Risk - RBNZ

The growing presence of investors in Auckland's property market is increasing the risks, and is likely to both amplify the housing cycle and worsen the potential damage from a downturn both to the financial system and the broader economy, said Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer. More>>

ALSO:

Annual Record: Overseas Visitors Hit 3 Million Milestone

Visitor arrivals to New Zealand surpassed 3 million for the first time in the July 2015 year, Statistics New Zealand said today. The record-breaking 3,002,982 visitors this year was 7 percent higher than the July 2014 year. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news