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NZ dollar hovers near 68 US cents as trade tensions persist

NZ dollar hovers near 68 US cents as trade tensions persist

By Rebecca Howard

Nov. 21 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar hovered just below 68 US cents as ongoing trade tensions sour risk appetite.

The kiwi traded at 67.96 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 67.99 US cents at 8am and down from 68.51 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index fell to 74.28 from 74.65.

Markets are starting to anticipate an impact on global growth if the US-China trade tensions aren't resolved. According to CNBC's latest Global CFO Council survey, almost 75 percent of chief financial offers say US trade policy will have a negative impact on their business during the next six months. European and Asian CFOs were the most concerned, CNBC said.

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are due to sit down at a high stakes meeting at the G-20 summit in Argentina at the end of the month. Hopes, however, waned over the weekend when leaders from both countries exchanged barbs.

In a move that added to the tension, the Office of the United States Trade Representative said "China fundamentally has not altered its acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation, and indeed appears to have taken further unreasonable actions in recent months." It made the comment in an update published Tuesday in the US.

Against that backdrop, Mike Shirley, senior dealer, FX & Interest Rate Sales at KiwiBank, said the kiwi is "just treading water and waiting for the next big thing." A dearth of domestic drivers means "we are going to continue to be pushed around by events occurring offshore and there is no shortage of those," he said.

The kiwi traded at 93.94 Australian cents from 94.03 cents yesterday and fell to 4.7198 Chinese yuan from 4.7564 yuan. It dropped to 76.60 yen from 77.10 yen and traded at 53.12 British pence from 53.27 pence. The kiwi was almost unchanged at 59.73 euro cents from 59.80 cents.

New Zealand's two-year swap rate fell 1 basis point to 2.14 percent; the 10-year swaps were down 1 basis point at 3.00 percent.


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