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Kiwi hits five-month low against yen

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/04/2017 Jonathan Underhill

The New Zealand dollar has fallen to a five-month low against the yen as North Korea stepped up its anti-US rhetoric and American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Moscow for talks on the standoff over Syria.

The kiwi fell to 76.29 yen as at 8am on Wednesday in Wellington, and earlier touched 76.05 yen, the lowest since mid-November, from 76.91 yen late Tuesday. The kiwi was little changed at US65.54 cents and the trade-weighted index slipped to 75.85 from 75.94.

North Korean has warned it is prepared to launch a nuclear attack on the US if provoked and leader Kim Jong Un has continued with missile tests, according to reports. The US has ordered a navy strike group led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to waters alongside the Korean peninsula.

"Gold and the Japanese yen have strengthened as mounting geopolitical tensions continue to weigh on markets," said dealers at HiFX.

Spot gold, which along with the yen is perceived as a haven asset in times of reduced risk appetite, climbed 1.5 per cent to $US1273.01 an ounce overnight, the highest since early November.

Meanwhile, the US has said Russia is complicit in Syria's chemical weapon attack on rebels in its bloody civil war, and ahead of his arrival in Moscow, Tillerson said the reign of Syria's Bashar al-Assad is coming to an end and that he hopes Russia will conclude they have aligned themselves with an unreliable partner.

On Wednesday morning, the kiwi fell to 55.64 British pence from 55.96p after a UK inflation measure for March unexpectedly held up at 2.3 per cent, the highest in more than three years.

The New Zealand dollar was trading at 92.72 Australian cents from A92.69c.It traded at 65.57 euro cents from 65.64c and fell to 4.7901 Chinese yuan from 4.7992 yuan.

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