NZ dollar holds above 68 US cts as Trump-Xi meeting looms
By Paul McBeth
Nov. 30 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar held above 68 US cents ahead of the much-anticipated meeting between US and Chinese leaders that may dictate whether their trade stoush eases or escalates.
The kiwi traded at 68.44 US cents as at 8am in Wellington from 68.55 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index was at 74.59 from 74.66.
Investors are awaiting US President Donald Trump's meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires this weekend. Trade tensions between the world's two biggest economies are threatening global growth. Investors hope Trump will be able to reach a deal to see off further escalation of the tit-for-tat tariffs the nations have been imposing.
"Rather than jump at headlines, the market has taken a laid-back approach and prices are treading water until we see the outcome," Bank of New Zealand senior markets strategist Jason Wong said in a note.
The kiwi got a boost yesterday after Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell signalled a pause in interest rate hikes could be near, describing monetary policy settings as just below neutral.
Minutes to the Federal Open Market Committee's last policy meeting, released overnight, show almost all voting members saw another rate increase as being warranted near-term. Many put a greater emphasis on gauging the data to determine when further rises would be appropriate.
Local data today include the ANZ Roy Morgan consumer confidence survey and October building consents. The ANZ business outlook yesterday showed New Zealand firms remained fairly pessimistic about the economic outlook.
The kiwi traded at 93.70 Australian cents from 93.77 cents yesterday and was little changed at 77.65 yen from 77.69 yen. It decreased to 4.7510 Chinese yuan from 4.7578 yuan yesterday and rose to 53.59 British pence from 53.38 pence. The local currency traded at 60.17 euro cents from 60.22 cents.