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NZ dollar little changed near 10-month high

NZ dollar little changed near 10-month high after mixed US data; central bank speakers awaited

By Jonathan Underhill

July 25 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar was little changed near a 10-month high after mixed US data, close to expectations, kept the greenback near a 13-month low, while locally traders look ahead to speeches by central bank speakers here and across the Tasman.

The kiwi traded at 74.33 US cents as at 8am in Wellington from 74.32 cents late yesterday, having peaked at 74.59 cents in New York on Friday. The trade-weighted index was virtually unchanged at 78.50.

US existing home sales fell a greater-than-expected 1.8 percent last month although the median sales price rose, while the US manufacturing PMI rose to 53.2 from 52, almost matching expectations. US data is being closely watched for clues to the chances of a third rate hike by the Federal Reserve this year. Meanwhile, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe is due to deliver a speech titled "The Labor Market and Monetary Policy" tomorrow and RBNZ assistant governor John McDermott is to speak on economic trends and the bank's flexible inflation targeting framework.

"There was little news to drive markets," Imre Speizer, senior markets strategist at Westpac Banking Corp, said in a note. On McDermott's speech, he said: "Markets will be attentive, given the MPS is only two weeks away."

The next monetary policy statement is scheduled for Aug. 10, with no change expected for the 1.75 percent official cash rate, which would mark the fifth straight policy review where the rate has been kept steady. However, attention will be given to the bank's economic projections and the track of the OCR.

Also of interest tomorrow will be Australian consumer prices for the second quarter and the US Federal Reserve's meeting this week will also garner attention.

The kiwi rose to 63.82 euro cents from 63.68 cents late yesterday and traded at 82.60 yen from 82.50 yen. It traded at 578.03 British pence from 57.09 pence and fell to 5.0164 yuan from 5.0237 yuan.



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