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NZ dollar little changed on light data flows

NZ dollar little changed as light data flow keeps investors on the sidelines

By Paul McBeth

Feb. 26 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar was little changed as a light data week keeps investors wary of testing recent ranges.

The kiwi traded at 83.27 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 83.32 cents at 8am and 83.33 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index was 78.16 from 78.20 yesterday.

Traders remained wary of breaking recent ranges in the middle of a week with little new data, ahead of US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen’s testimony before legislators on Friday and US employment figures next week. An exceptionally harsh winter is weighing on US economic output.

Investors are also awaiting the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s policy expected move to start raising interest rates at the March 13 monetary policy statement.

“The market is suffering from an acute lack of local data after the G20 at the start of the week,” said Stuart Ive, a senior client adviser at OMF in Wellington. “I don’t think the kiwi’s going to significantly go too far either way at the moment.”

US new home sales data for January will attract some attention when they are released, though the winter conditions are expected to have dented turnover in the month.

The kiwi edged up to 92.44 Australian cents from 92.33 cents yesterday after federal government figures showed Australia’s total value of construction fell 1 percent in the final three months of 2013, largely due to weak residential building.

Investors will be watching Australia’s capital expenditure data tomorrow for an update on how the resources sector is travelling.

The local currency slipped to 85.24 yen from 85.42 yen yesterday, and was little changed at 60.60 euro cents from 60.66 cents. It traded at 49.93 British pence from 50 pence yesterday.


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