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NZ dollar down on US rate hike hope

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/10/2016 Paul McBeth

NZ dollar down on US rate hike hope © REUTERS/Dennis Owen/File Photo NZ dollar down on US rate hike hope The New Zealand dollar held near a two-month low against the greenback as recent data from the world's biggest economy keep investors upbeat on the prospects for US interest rates to rise before the end of the year.

The kiwi traded at 71.67 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 71.87 cents a day earlier. The trade-weighted index was at 76.44 from 76.53..

Stronger than expected activity in the US's non-manufacturing activity sectors kept investors optimistic the Federal Reserve will raise the federal funds rate this year, and gave some traders enough confidence to pencil in an outside chance of a move as early as next month.

Fed officials have been relatively upbeat in their assessments of the economy and traders will be focused on non-farm payrolls figures on Friday in Washington, which is a notoriously volatile data series.

"If it (non-farm payrolls) matches market expectations at 180,000-odd, you'd start to see people firm up expectations (for a rate hike) even more," said ANZ's Philip Borkin.

The bank expects the kiwi to fall to 71 US cents by the end of the year, and extending that decline to the mid-60s by mid-to-late 2017.

Mr Borkin said there was still a lot supporting the kiwi dollar's strength and that its gradual decline was primarily due to the greenback.

New Zealand's two-year swap rate rose two basis points to 2.04 per cent and 10-year swaps gained three basis points to 2.57 per cent.

The local currency was almost unchanged at 63.99 euro cents from 64.05 cents, traded at 56.32 British pence from 56.22 pence, increased to 94.27 Australian cents from 94.11 cents, rose to 74.12 yen from 73.87 yen and decreased to 4.7793 Chinese yuan from 4.7927 yuan.

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