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Kiwi falls as US rate hikes expected

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/01/2017 Paul McBeth

The New Zealand dollar has fallen as the latest data showed the US economy continues to remain in good health ahead of president-elect Donald Trump's first press conference since winning the November election.

The kiwi dropped to US69.85 cents as at 8am on Wednesday from US70.38c on Tuesday. The trade-weighted index declined to 77.35 from 77.83.

The greenback has been on the ascendancy since Mr Trump was victorious in the November election, heightening expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates more aggressively than previously thought.

The US economy is already in relatively good health, and the latest survey shows business confidence as at its highest level in 12 years, and investors will be awaiting Mr Trump's first formal press conference since his election for more detail on his policy plans.

"Minor US data was encouraging, but markets are more focused on tonight's promised press conference by Trump," Westpac's Imre Speizer said in a note.

"A slight uptick in the US dollar and US interest rates overnight capped the AUD and NZD."

Local data on Wednesday showed New Zealand property value inflation slowed in December as Reserve Bank-imposed lending restrictions continue to curb activity.

The local housing market limited the central bank's ability to cut interest rates as deeply as a low inflation environment may have warranted, prompting it to respond with macro-prudential tools.

On Wednesday morning the kiwi fell to 94.81 Australian cents from A95.38c and dropped to 4.8295 Chinese yuan from 4.8734 yuan. It declined to 80.79 yen from 81.17 yen and fell to 57.41 British pence from 57.84p. The local currency decreased to 66.13 euro cents from 66.30c.

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