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NZ dollar falls vs greenback on pullback in risk appetite

NZ dollar falls vs greenback on pullback in risk appetite after RBA minutes, China data

By Rebecca Howard

April 17 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar fell against the greenback on a slight pullback in risk appetite after minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia showed some caution and after mixed Chinese data.

The New Zealand dollar was trading at 73.38 US cents as at 5pm in Wellington from 73.55 US cents as at 8am and from 73.54 cents yesterday. The trade weighed index was at 75.17 from 75.41 yesterday.

In minutes of its April 3 policy meeting published Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia saw little reason to raise interest rates this month given inflation remained below target. However, it also said "the possibility of an escalation in trade restrictions represented a risk to the global outlook that needed to be monitored closely" and noted "developments in US money markets had flowed through to higher short-term borrowing costs in financial markets in Australia.

"There is a little bit of risk off as people seem to have interpreted the RBA minutes as a little cautious, highlighting funding pressures and concerns over trade," said ANZ senior macro strategist Philip Borkin.

He also said Chinese data was mixed and the market seems to have focused on the weaker aspects. China's economy expanded at 6.8 percent in the first quarter, which was in line with expectations said Borkin. However, retail sales data was better than expected and industrial production was weaker.

The data weighed on both the kiwi and the Aussie and the New Zealand dollar traded at 94.48 Australian cents from 94.61 late yesterday.

Overall, however, "we have chopped around in very tight ranges." Borkin said markets will now be watching for the overnight dairy auction, expected to show a slight pull back on increased supply on the platform. Key, however, this week is the first-quarter inflation data due Thursday, with economists expecting annual inflation of 1.1 percent.

The kiwi dollar was at 51.16 British pence from 51.58 pence late yesterday and traded at 78.57 yen from 78.86 yen. It fell to 59.26 euro cents from 59.63 cents and declined to 4.6105 yuan from 4.6207 yuan.

New Zealand's two-year swap rate was unchanged at 2.31 percent and the 10-year swap rate was unchanged at 3.18 percent.

(BusinessDesk)

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