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Kiwi steady before Trump, Xi summit

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/04/2017 Jonathan Underhill

A new $10 note. © Mark Tantrum/Getty Images A new $10 note. The New Zealand dollar was little changed against the greenback and fell against the yen on Thursday as investors' risk appetite dwindled ahead of the summit between US president Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

The kiwi traded at US69.72c as at 5pm in Wellington, little changed from late Wednesday. It fell as low as 69.36c overnight after a stronger than expected US jobs survey.

The local currency traded at 77.04 yen, having fallen as low as 76.83 yen during the day, a five-month low, from 77.10 yen on Thursday.

With little in the way of domestic economic news, the Trump-Xi meeting at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida overnight is looming as the next risk event for financial markets.

Assuming that passes without any outbursts from Trump, traders will then focus on US non-farm payrolls for March, with economists expecting the world's biggest economy added about 180,000 jobs last month, down from 235,000 in February, while the jobless rate held at 4.7 per cent.

"The summit may have greater ramifications than payrolls," said Tim Kelleher, head of institutional foreign exchange sales at ASB Bank. "Will Trump be presidential or go for a win, given he hasn't had many of those lately."

Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, will join Trump and wife Melania for dinner ahead of a series of meetings between the leaders on Friday.

Trump has previously railed against China, saying Beijing controls the level of the yuan for the benefit of its exporters and "steals" American jobs.

Both the kiwi and Australian dollar fell against the yen in the face of what appeared to be Japanese selling, Mr Kelleher said.

The local currency rose to A92.48c from 92.07c late Wednesday. It rose to 4.8073 yuan from 4.7971 yuan. It was little changed at 65.28 euro cents from 65.27 cents and slipped to 55.82 British pence from 55.98 pence.

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