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NZ dollar drops as bonds boost greenback

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/10/2016 Jonathan Underhill

The New Zealand dollar fell as rising US Treasury bond yields help drive up the greenback.

The kiwi fell to 71.20 US cents as at 8am in Wellington from 71.51 cents late on Thursday. The trade-weighted index dropped to 76.92 from 77.07.

The yield on 10-year US Treasuries rose as high as 1.87 per cent overnight, the highest since late May, after stronger-than-expected UK economic figures sparked a selloff in global bond markets. The US Dollar Index climbed as much as 0.3 per cent and in New Zealand, the two-year swap rate rose to 2.12 per cent, a three-month high.

"Two key themes overnight have been a sell-off of global bond markets and USD strength," said BNZ's Jason Wong.

"A global bond market sell-off ensued at the beginning of European trading session, following the release of stronger UK GDP data."

The kiwi fell to 58.45 British pence from 58.54 pence late on Thursday after figures showed gross domestic product rose 0.5 per cent in the third quarter, exceeding expectations of a 0.3 per cent gain. The more robust growth confounded traders who are expecting a drop-off in the UK economy following the Brexit vote.

Traders are now awaiting US GDP figures for the third quarter, which are expected to show annualised growth accelerated to 2.5 per cent from 1.4 per cent, adding to the rationale for an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve in December.

The kiwi was little changed at 4.8267 yuan from 4.8462 yuan late on Thursday, when the yuan was fixed at a six-year low of 6.7921 yuan per US dollar. Beijing is gradually trying to weaken its currency to make its exports more competitive, without causing a large outflow of money from companies and wealthy individuals concerned about falling buying power.

It dropped to 65.28 euro cents from 65.61 cents, rose to 74.89 yen from 74.68 yen and was little changed at 93.78 Australian cents from 93.76 cents.

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