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Kiwi ekes out weekly gain, greenback falls

NZN 17/02/2017 Rebecca Howard

The New Zealand dollar eked out a 0.2 per cent gain against the US dollar over the week, largely on the back of a softer greenback as markets remain jittery about US President Donald Trump's policies.

The kiwi was trading at US72.04 cents as at 5pm Friday versus US72.25c on Thursday and from US71.89c early Monday in New Zealand.

Ross Weston, FX trader at Kiwibank, said Friday was largely uneventful although he was surprised it didn't "lurch lower" on domestic retail sales data as the result was weaker than expected.

Earlier Friday, Statistics New Zealand said the volume of retail sales increased a seasonally adjusted 0.8 per cent in the three months ended December 31, from a 0.9 per cent rise in the September quarter. Economists had been expecting a 1.0 per cent increase, according to ASB Senior Economist Jane Turner, although the data was in line with ASB's forecasts. A dip in manufacturing activity in January also failed to dent the kiwi.

Mr Weston said the kiwi has a "fairly constant bid in the market at the moment. The US dollar is struggling to push higher and that seems to be supporting the kiwi," he said.

Mr Weston said the greenback is likely to remain under pressure "until we get some confirmation about what Trump is or isn't going to do and what effect that has on the fiscal side of things."

The kiwi fell to 81.61 yen from 82.22 yen Thursday. The local currency declined to 67.47 euro cents from 68.08 cents and to 57.61 British pence from 57.96 pence.The kiwi increased slightly to 4.9463 Chinese yuan from 4.9443 yuan and dipped to A93.48 cents from 93.66c.

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