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NZ dollar declines on upbeat US growth, RBNZ FX stats loom

NZ dollar declines as greenback advances on better growth, amid intervention talk

By Tina Morrison

Sept. 29 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar fell to a fresh one-year low as the greenback advanced after a report showed US economic growth accelerated at the fastest rate since late 2011, amid speculation the Reserve Bank may have intervened to push down the value of the local currency.

The kiwi touched a low of 78.54 US cents, and was trading at 78.64 cents at 8am in Wellington, from 78.61 cents at the New York close and 79.02 cents at 5pm on Friday. The trade-weighted index slipped to 76.69 from 76.88 on Friday.

The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, strengthened after a report showed the world's largest economy grew at a revised 4.6 percent annual rate in the second quarter, ahead of the previous estimate of 4.2 percent. Meantime, the kiwi remains under pressure ahead of data today which will show whether the Reserve Bank has been actively selling the currency to lower its value. In an unscheduled speech last week, governor Graeme Wheeler said the kiwi remained unjustifiably high, stoking speculation the bank is actively pushing the currency lower.

"Today, it will be all eyes on the scheduled release of RBNZ foreign exchange transaction data for August," Kymberly Martin, Bank of New Zealand senior market strategist, said in a note. "A sharp move down in the New Zealand dollar during the month raised speculation of RBNZ 'intervention'. If this is confirmed today, this will likely only assist New Zealand dollar weakness, in the wake of recent fighting talk from the RBNZ."

The Reserve Bank is scheduled at 3pm to publish its monthly F5 statement, which will detail its foreign currency assets and liabilities for August.

There appears to be little technical support for the currency ahead of 78 US cents, with resistance at 79.70 cents, said the BNZ's Martin.

At 10:30am today, the BNZ-BusinessNZ PSI monthly survey of activity in the services sector is scheduled for release.

Later in the week, all eyes will be on the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction early Wednesday morning, while the focus at the end of the week will be on key employment data in the US

The New Zealand dollar declined to 89.63 Australian cents from 90.22 cents on Friday, edged lower to 61.96 euro cents from 62 cents, slipped to 48.39 British pence from 48.45 pence and dropped to 85.87 yen from 86.08 yen.


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