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NZ dollar higher after RBNZ financial stability report

NZ dollar higher after RBNZ says financial stability risks have eased

By Rebecca Howard

Nov. 28 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar was higher against the US dollar after the Reserve Bank relaxed curbs on high-risk mortgage lending and said financial stability risks have eased.

The kiwi traded at 67.94 US cents at 5pm in Wellington versus 67.87 cents at 8am in Wellington and 67.64 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index advanced to 74.37 from 73.96.

In the twice-year financial stability report, the central bank said "both mortgage credit growth and house price inflation have eased to more sustainable rates, reducing the riskiness of banks’ new housing lending."

Against that backdrop, the bank eased its loan-to-valuation restrictions on banks’ mortgage lending slightly, allowing banks to now make up to 20 percent of their new mortgage lending to borrowers putting down less than a fifth as a deposit, up from 15 percent currently.

As well, the deposits investors must have has been eased to 30 percent of a property’s value, down from 35 percent previously.

OMF private client manager Stuart Ive said that while the kiwi got a lift from the central bank's comments, it remains tightly range bound just below 68 US cents and is "poised ahead of G20 this weekend where markets await the outcome of a meeting between the US president and China’s Xi."

Investors had been cheered by comments from White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow who confirmed the two would meet over dinner and held open the possibility that the two countries would reach a trade deal.

Ahead of that, Ive said investors will be watching for the second reading of the US third-quarter gross domestic product, which is tipped to come in at 3.6 percent and that will likely cap any gains.

The kiwi traded at 93.88 Australian cents from 93.62 cents yesterday and increased to 4.7240 Chinese yuan from 4.6974 yuan. It climbed to 77.32 yen from 76.76 yen yesterday and advanced to 60.17 euro cents from 59.68 cents. The local currency rose to 53.32 British pence from 52.80 pence yesterday.

New Zealand's two-year swap rate was unchanged at 2.09 percent; the 10-year swaps were down 2 basis points at 2.90 percent.


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