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NZ dollar falls on weak inflation data

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/07/2016 Jonathan Underhill

The New Zealand dollar fell after figures showed inflation was weaker than expected in the second quarter, adding to the case for a central bank rate cut at its August 11 monetary policy review.

The Kiwi traded at 70.93 US cents as at 5pm, from 71.48 cents immediately before the inflation data was released and from 71.09 cents at the New York close on Friday.

The trade-weighted index fell to 75.74 from 76.13.

Both quarterly and annual inflation were 0.4 per cent, lagging behind the Reserve Bank's 0.6 per cent forecast.

"CPI yet again came in under expectations - for the RBNZ, the market and us," said Stephen Toplis, head of research at Bank of New Zealand.

"At the margin, this will cause the RBNZ more angst and threaten to push inflation expectations ever lower. It was no surprise, then, that the market took today's outturn as a further excuse to re-rate its pricing toward further easing."

Bets for a cut to the official cash rate, now at 2.25 per cent, rose to 80 per cent after the consumer price index data was released.

The two-year swap rate fell to 2.115 per cent from 2.165 per cent before the inflation data and down from 2.18 per cent on Friday. The 10-year swap rate fell about 3 basis points to 2.55 per cent.

The Kiwi rose to 74.80 yen from 74.52 yen on Friday in New York and fell to 4.7488 Chinese yuan from 4.7534 yuan. It fell to 93.35 Australian cents from 93.80 cents last week and dropped to 64.08 euro cents from 64.40 cents. The local currency slipped to 53.57 British pence from 53.88 pence last week.

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