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Kiwi up as Trump expectations fade

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/02/2017 Jonathan Underhill

The New Zealand dollar has risen after new US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated it would take time for fiscal policy reform to impact the US economy, frustrating traders betting on Trump administration stimulus and a stronger greenback.

The kiwi rose to US72.27 cents as at 8am on Friday in Wellington from US72.01c late Thursday. The trade-weighted index rose to 78.55 from 78.43.

The US dollar weakened after minutes of the last Federal Reserve policy meeting were deemed more dovish that the market was expecting with varying opinions about inflation in the world's biggest economy, raising doubts that the Fed will hike interest rates as soon as next month. Mnuchin told CNBC that he expected the impact of tax cuts showing up in late-2018, in contrast to President Donald Trump's talk of imminent reform.

"As US markets become more frustrated by the lack of detail over Trump's policies, and come to the realisation that anything creative that might occur (if at all) will take some time to bite, expect the USD to be on the back foot," said ANZ senior rates specialist David Crow.

"We see no obvious reason for the NZD to go meaningfully lower given the growth outlook and the level of interest rates, which make the NZD an expensive currency to 'short'."

With no local economic data scheduled on Friday, traders will be looking across the Tasman for Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe's testimony to a parliamentary committee.

In the morning, the kiwi traded at 93.68 Australian cents from A93.65 cents late Thursday. It slipped to 57.65 British pence from 57.82p and rose to 68.37 euro cents from 68.14c. The kiwi was little changed at 81.49 yen from 81.55 yen and rose to 4.9627 yuan from 4.9531 yuan.

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