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


NZ dollar falls on threat of hung Italian parliament

NZ dollar falls as threat of hung Italian parliament erodes investor confidence

By Paul McBeth

Feb. 26 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar fell as the threat of a hung Italian parliament eroded investor confidence, and reignited fears Europe may be in for another sovereign debt scare.

The kiwi fell to 83.40 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 83.62 cents at 8am, and 83.63 cents yesterday. It rose to 63.82 euro cents from 63.41 cents yesterday.

Uncertainty over the outcome of the first Italian election since the 2008 global financial crisis spooked investors, and prompted stocks across Asia to fall. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 2.1 percent in afternoon trading, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 0.6 percent, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index 0.8 percent.

Early polling indicates the centre-left coalition committed to sitting Prime Minister Mario Monti's austerity programme has a small lead in the lower house, but would likely be hamstrung by a divided upper house.

"A picture of a new election being ordered, or an unstable coalition would both be bad for the kiwi," said Imre Speizer, market strategist at Westpac Banking. "I wouldn't call it lower until we see a clear breakdown" of the 83 US cents level, he said.

New Zealand financial institutions pared back their expectations for inflation in the latest survey by the Reserve Bank, and see one-year ahead consumer price rises of 1.68 percent and two-year ahead projections at 2.17 percent.

Reserve Bank of Australia assistant governor Guy Debelle talked down the Australian dollar in a speech, saying rates may be cut further if the currency's strength holds back economic growth. The kiwi slipped to 81.15 Australian cents at 5pm in Wellington from 81.34 cents yesterday.

Investors will be looking at Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke's semi-annual testimony to lawmakers over the next two days in Washington, after the Federal Open Market Committee was divided on the future of quantitative easing.

Speizer said that could revive flagging investor confidence if Bernanke is more optimistic.

The kiwi dollar fell to 76.81 yen from 78.65 yen yesterday as analysts prepare for Japan's government to appoint the next governor of the Bank of Japan.

The local currency fell to 54.59 British pence at 5pm in Wellington from 55.26 pence yesterday. The trade-weighted index fell to 76.28 from 76.57.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Banks: Westpac Keeps Core Government Transactions Contract

The local arm of Westpac Banking Corp has kept its contract with the New Zealand government to provide core transactions, but will have to share peripheral services with its rivals. More>>


Science Investment Plan: Universities Welcome Statement

Universities New Zealand has welcomed the National Statement of Science Investment released by the Government today... this is a critical document as it sets out the Government’s ten-year strategic direction that will guide future investment in New Zealand’s science system. More>>


Scouring: Cavalier Merger Would Extract 'Monopoly Rents' - Godfrey Hirst

A merger of Cavalier Wool Holdings and New Zealand Wool Services International's two wool scouring operations would create a monopoly, says carpet maker Godfrey Hirst. The Commerce Commission on Friday released its second draft determination on the merger, maintaining its view that the public benefits would outweigh the loss of competition. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: She Means Business

As Foreman says in her conclusion, this is a business book. It opens with a brief biographical section followed by a collection of interesting tips for entrepreneurs... More>>


Hourly Wage Gap Grows: Gender Pay Gap Still Fixed At Fourteen Percent

“The totally unchanged pay gap is a slap in the face for women, families and the economy,” says Coalition spokesperson, Angela McLeod. Even worse, Māori and Pacific women face an outrageous pay gap of 28% and 33% when compared with the pay packets of Pākehā men. More>>


Housing: English On Housing Affordability And The Economy

"Long lead times in the planning process tend to drive prices higher in the upswing of the housing cycle. And those lead times increase the risk that eight years later, when additional supply arrives, the demand shock that spurred the additional supply has reversed. The resulting excess supply could produce a price crash..." More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news