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

 


NZ dollar holds below 83 US cts on Italian poll uncertainty

NZ dollar holds below 83 US cts as Italian election uncertainty erodes investor confidence

By Paul McBeth

Feb. 27 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar held below 83 US cents in local trading as the uncertain election outcome in Italy dented investors' appetite for riskier, or higher-yielding, assets, and trumped an unchanged outlook for this season's payout to dairy farmers.

The kiwi traded at 82.43 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 82.54 cents at 8am, down from 83.39 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index fell to 75.49 from 76.28 yesterday.

The prospect of a stalemate after Italy's first general election since the global financial crisis has spooked investors, reigniting fears Europe's fourth biggest economy won't continue a drive for austerity, and that will seep into rest of the region.

Election results in Italy showed Pier Luigi Bersani, who supports the cost cutting programme, won the lower house by less than half a percentage point, while former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi secured a blocking vote in the Senate.

"That's going to hang over market sentiment as people fret about whether Italy can potentially be stable or if it's a big risk to Europe," said Chris Tennent-Brown, FX economist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney. "It's not going to have a direct impact on the New Zealand dollar, more through the confidence channel."

The downbeat tone overshadowed Fonterra Cooperative Group affirming an expected farm-gate payment of $5.50 per kilogram of milk solids, and government figures showing a slightly bigger trade deficit than predicted last month.

The Fonterra announcement and trade figures "were a bit of a yawnfest with the focus still on Italy," Tennent-Brown said.

Northern Hemisphere investors will continue to look for any clues on whether Italy can make its election result work, or if it will call another election, and watch the second day of testimony by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke to policymakers in the US.

The kiwi fell to 63.10 euro cents from 63.84 cents yesterday and declined to 54.56 British pence from 54.78 pence. The local currency dropped to 80.62 Australian cents from 81.16 cents and fell to 75.75 yen from 76.83 yen.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Research: ‘Ageing Well’ Science Challenge Launched

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today launched the Ageing Well National Science Challenge, confirming initial funding of $14.6 million. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Govt Resisting Pressure To Pump More Cash Into Solid Energy

Prime Minister John Key says it is “not the government’s preferred option” to make a fresh capital injection into the troubled state-owned coal miner, Solid Energy, but dodged journalists’ questions at his weekly press conference on whether that might prove necessary... More>>

ALSO:

Lagest Ever Privacy Breach Award: NZCU Baywide Accepts “Severe” Censure In Cake Case

NZCU Baywide says that once it was found to have committed a breach of a former staff member’s privacy, it had attempted to resolve the matter... the censure and remedies for its actions taken almost three years ago are “severe” but accepted, and will hopefully draw a line under the matter. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: PayPal Stops Processing Mega Payments; NZX Listing Still On

PayPal has ceased processing payments for Mega, the file storage and encryption firm looking to join the New Zealand stock market via a reverse listing of TRS Investments, amid claims it is not a legitimate cloud storage service. More>>

ALSO:

Housing Policy: Auckland Densification As Popular As Ebola, English Says

Finance Minister Bill English said calls by the Reserve Bank Governor for more densification in Auckland’s housing were “about as popular in parts of Auckland as Ebola” would be. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: NZ Government Deficit Smaller Than Expected In First Half

The New Zealand government's operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first six months of the financial year, as the consumption and corporate tax take rose ahead of forecast in December, having lagged estimates in previous months. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news