NZ dollar falls to 17-month low vs euro on upbeat German data
By Jonathan Underhill
Oct. 11 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar fell to a 17-month low against the euro after German trade data added to signs of stronger growth for the economic bloc's biggest member.
The kiwi fell to 59.86 euro cents as at 8am in Wellington, and earlier touched the lowest since May last year at 59.82 cents, from 60.05 cents late yesterday. The kiwi traded at 70.69 US cents from 70.68 cents yesterday.
Export growth lifted Germany's trade surplus in August to a seasonally adjusted 21.6 billion euros, beating the forecast in a Reuters survey of 20 billion euros. Exports gained 3.1 percent while imports rose 1.2 percent. Stronger data in the eurozone points to an end to quantitative easing and comes as concern eases that Catalonia will break away from Spain. In New Zealand, political hiatus remains, with the likely outcome delayed.
"NZ’s political uncertainty which continues to weigh on the currency looks to continue beyond Thursday after (NZ First leader) Winston Peters last night announced that his self-imposed deadline was to be extended," traders at HiFX said in a note.
NZ First meet twice with both the National and Labour parties yesterday and leader Peters said there will be no direct negotiations with the Greens. He made no comment on the talks other than to say that the recent falls in the NZ dollar would be welcomed by exporters.
Traders will be watching for the release tonight of the Federal Open Market Committee's minutes of its Sept. 21 meeting for clues to the pace of interest rate hikes in the US.
The trade-weighted index fell to 74.50 from 74.64 late yesterday. Doug Steel, economist at Bank of New Zealand, said in a note that the TWI is now more than 4 percent below the Reserve Bank's projection in August and a weaker currency is likely to stoke imported inflation.
"This adds to some other signs that inflation is coming in higher than the RBNZ anticipated," he said.
The kiwi traded at 90.81 Australian cents from 90.84 cents late yesterday. It fell to 4.6452 yuan from 4.6633 yuan and declined to 79.42 yen from 79.64 yen. The kiwi fell to 53.53 British pence from 53.72 pence after figures showed British construction output unexpectedly rose in August while industrial production gained as expected.