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Kiwi gets late lift from yield seekers

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/07/2016
© Bloomberg

The New Zealand dollar has had a late gain but with no obvious drivers other than demand for yield as traders await the outcome of policy reviews by the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan.

The kiwi jumped to US70.49 cents as at 5pm on Tuesday in Wellington, from US69.89c at the start of the day and from US69.79c on Monday. The trade-weighted index gained to 75.51 from 74.98.

With little local news, deliberations by Fed policymakers are the next big hurdle for markets, with their decision to be known on Wednesday in Washington.

Economists expect the Fed to keep its rate target at 0.25 to 0.5 per cent and the market will be looking for clues to the timing of any hikes this year. The Bank of Japan is expected to announce further stimulus measures on Friday.

"We're expecting Japan to stimulate a lot and for the Fed, no action but sounding a bit more upbeat and maybe a comment that September is live for an interest rate hike," said Westpac's Imre Speizer.

The market is giving 60 per cent odds of a Fed hike by December, while the Bank of Japan could add stimulus by increasing its asset purchase programme.

In the meantime, there was a lot of capital flowing around the world looking for yield and some of that was finding its way to the kiwi, he said.

The kiwi didn't move much on Tuesday after figures showed a $127 million trade surplus in June for an annual trade deficit of $3.31 billion.

During the day it rose to 93.68 Australian cents from A93.35c, lifted to 53.76 British pence from 53.14p, gained to 64.07 euro cents from 63.58cc and increased to 4.7083 Chinese yuan from 4.6598 yuan.

It decreased to 73.62 yen from 74.17 yen.

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