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Kiwi steady above US70 cents

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/04/2017 Jonathan Underhill

The New Zealand dollar is little changed, keeping within the narrow range of the past two weeks, with weaker commodity prices generally weighing on the currencies of commodity-exporting nations.

The kiwi dollar traded at US70.06 cents as at 8am on Tuesday in Wellington from US70.03c late Monday. The trade-weighted index was at 76.12 from 76.04.

The CRB Index of 19 commonly traded commodities fell 0.7 per cent overnight, although the kiwi dollar didn't fall as much as counterparts such as the Australian dollar, which dropped on Monday after weak retail sales data.

Traders say reduced volumes on offer at Tuesday night's GlobalDairyTrade auction may see prices rise for the second time in a row but globally, markets are more focused this week on a two-day meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and US non-farm payrolls data at the end of the week.

"Commodity currencies have underperformed, with commodity prices generally lower, although falls have been modest," said BNZ currency strategist Jason Wong.

The kiwi was overdue for a recovery, after underperforming across the board during March, "undeservedly so in our view", he said.

Tuesday sees the release of the Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion, while the Reserve Bank of Australia is scheduled to release its review of interest rates in the afternoon, with no change expected to the 1.5 per cent cash rate target.

On Tuesday morning, the kiwi traded at 92.08 Australian cents from A92.02 cents late Monday. It rose to 65.70 euro cents from 65.56c and gained to 56.14 British pence from 55.84p. It slipped to 77.70 yen from 77.97 yen and rose to 4.8244 yuan from 4.8210 yuan.

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