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NZ dollar advances as risk sentiment improves

NZ dollar advances as risk sentiment improves, luring investors to equities, kiwi

By Tina Morrison

Feb. 21 (BusinessDesk) – The New Zealand dollar advanced as risk sentiment improved, turning investors’ attention to high risk assets such as equities and the local currency.

The kiwi advanced to 82.78 US cents at 8am in Wellington from 82.57 cents at 5pm yesterday. The trade-weighted index was 77.86 from 77.83 yesterday.

Wall Street rose after a gauge of US manufacturing climbed to the highest level in nearly four years, easing concern that weakness in recent data meant the recovery in the world's largest economy was losing steam. The New Zealand and Australian currencies advanced even after weaker-than expected Chinese manufacturing figures yesterday raised concern about the strength of the regional economy.

“They both got sold heavily yesterday on the back of the China data and overnight you had a positive risk sentiment vibe going on so that pushed equities higher and risk-seeking came back in and that’s why they bought some Aussie and the kiwi,” said Westpac Banking Corp senior market strategist Imre Speizer. “Short term it’s not going to persist much more than this.”

Speizer expects the local currency may test 82.50 US cents.

New Zealand’s Treasury department will today release the latest monthly crown financial statements at 10am.

In Australia, G20 finance ministers and central bank governors are meeting in Sydney.

The New Zealand dollar slipped to 92.14 Australian cents from 92.26 cents yesterday.

The local currency advanced to 60.37 euro cents from 60.03 cents yesterday and rose to 49.71 British pence from 49.51 pence ahead of the release of UK retail sales data.

The kiwi gained to 84.70 yen from 84.14 yen yesterday ahead of the release of the Japanese central bank minutes from its last meeting.


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