NZ dollar gains after Chinese manufacturing beats expectations
By Suze Metherell
June 23 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar rose after Chinese data showed its manufacturing sector was in expansion for the first time in six months.
The local currency advanced to 87.32 US cents at 5pm in Wellington, from 86.93 cents at 8am and 86.96 cents at the New York close last week. The trade-weighted index rose to 81.16 from 81 this morning.
The HSBC China flash purchasing manager's index (PMI) for June rose to 50.8, in a scale where a reading above 50 indicates expansion. June's reading was up from 49.4 last month and exceeded the forecast of 49.7. China is New Zealand's biggest trading partner, and kiwi businesses exported $11.4 billion of goods in the year ended April 30.
"The manufacturing data out of China has really given us another boost to the upside as world growth comes into focus at the beginning of this week," said Stuart Ive, senior dealer at OMF. "The Chinese data is the best in six months and it does play out that commodity currencies will get a boost from it."
The local currency may trade between 85 US cents and 88.20 cents this week, according to a BusinessDesk survey of 10 traders and strategists, who are split on the kiwi's trajectory this week. Four expect it to decline, three predict it will gain and three pick it to remain largely unchanged.
"I think it isn't going to race away one way or the other but it is broadly supported though and I do think it'll edge towards those resistance levels, (87.80) as we progress throughout the week," OMF's Ive said.
Overnight traders will be watching for European and US manufacturing data to confirm global economic growth, he said.
The local currency weakened to 92.50 Australian cents, from 92.63 at 8am and 92.60 cents last week. The kiwi rose to 89.01 yen, from 88.74 yen this morning and 88.75 yen at the New York close. It gained to 51.24 British pence, from 51.07 pence at 8am and 51.11 pence on Friday. The New Zealand dollar increased to 64.17 euro cents, from 63.97 cents this morning and 63.94 at the New York close.