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NZ dollar loses ground against Aussie

NZ dollar loses ground against Aussie

By Rebecca Howard

July 12 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar continued to fall against the Australian dollar on some improving data across the Tasman and a lift in iron ore prices.

The kiwi traded at 94.55 Australian cents from 95 Australian cents at 8am and 95.61 late yesterday in Wellington. The trade-weighted index fell to 77.56 from 77.79.

"There may be some anticipation going on ahead of upcoming CPI releases," said Ross Weston, a senior trader at Kiwibank. New Zealand is due to publish second-quarter consumer price index data on July 20 while Australia will publish on July 26. "There seems to be some divergence going on," as economists begin to publish their forecasts, he said. Central banks in both countries will be keeping a close eye on the inflation data as they have both indicated rates are on hold for the foreseeable future, given the tepid inflationary picture.

He noted the kiwi started falling yesterday after weak retail spending on credit and debit cards in New Zealand. "Everyone was just looking for a catalyst and that was as good as any. It's called 'looking for a reason to trade'," he said.

Today, the lift in iron ore - currently around a two-month high - is also helping shore up the Aussie and news the latest Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of consumer sentiment has risen 0.4 per cent to 96.6 in July, compared to 96.2 in June also helped, although pessimists still outnumber optimists.

Looking ahead, Weston said markets will be waiting for US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, who is due to give testimony to Congress on the state of the U.S. economy over two days. "People will be looking for something out of her about whether they are going to do another hike, or balance sheet reductions," he said. Eyes will also be on the Canadian central bank, widely expected to lift rates later in the global trading day.

The kiwi dropped to 63.00 euro cents from 63.51 cents late yesterday and fell to 82.06 yen from 82.72 yen. The kiwi inched higher to 72.38 US cents from 72.33 US cents yesterday. It fell to 4.9118 yuan from 4.9210 yuan and traded at 56.30 pence from 56.16 pence.

New Zealand's two-year swap rate fell 1 basis point to 2.29 percent, and 10-year swaps fell 4 basis points to 3.36 percent.


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