Thursday 20 October 2016 08:45 AM
NZ dollar rises to two-week high on improved risk sentiment, stronger commodities
By Jonathan Underhill
Oct. 20 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar rose to a two-week high as gains in equity markets and commodities such as crude oil helped underpin currencies linked to global growth such as the kiwi and the Australian dollar.
The kiwi rose to 72.28 US cents as at 8am in Wellington, having earlier touched a 2-week high of 72.48 cents, from 72.12 cents late yesterday. The trade-weighted index edged up to 77.38 from 77.29.
Stocks on Wall Street and in Europe were broadly stronger overnight while crude oil climbed to a 15-month high, helping lift the CRB Index of 19 commonly traded commodities by 0.5 percent. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve said in its Beige Book regional survey that economic activity in the US "continued to expand during the reporting period from late August to early October,” and outlooks in most districts were "positive".
"Most equity markets gained, as did oil, helping pro-risk currencies the Australian dollar and the New Zealand dollar rise further," said Imre Speizer, market strategist at Westpac Banking Corp.
Speizer said a break above 72.30-72.40 US cents, which was a technically significant level, "would have bullish implications for the days ahead."
The kiwi has gained this week after stronger-than-expected third-quarter inflation figures suggested a cut in interest rates expected from the Reserve Bank next month may be the last in its easing cycle.
The kiwi dollar fell to 93.60 Australian cents from 94.02 cents late yesterday and edged up to 58.88 British pence from 58.71 pence. It rose to 65.86 euro cents from 65.66 cents, fell to 74.73 yen from 74.87 yen and rose to 4.8668 yuan from 4.8615 yuan.