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NZ dollar gains as email probe hits US

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/10/2016 Jonathan Underhill

The New Zealand dollar gained after the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was investigating more emails as part of a probe into Hillary Clinton's use of private email system, potentially denting her US presidential race.

The kiwi traded at 71.46 US cents as at 8am in Wellington after reaching as high as 71.67 cents in late New York trading and from 71.36 cents in Asia at the end of last week. The trade-weighted index edged up to 77.14 from 77.07.

US stocks fell and the greenback declined against most major currencies after FBI director James Comey said in a letter to US lawmakers that the agency was looking into whether the additional emails contained classified information.

The email issue has dogged Clinton's campaign and the new twist stoked speculation she may not be a certainty to win as the market has been expecting, with Donald Trump seen as providing certainty.

"This was seen to increase the chance of a Trump victory, the risk of some chaotic market conditions post-election and therefore a slightly reduced the chance of the Fed tightening ahead," said BNZ's Jason Wong.

The US election is on November 8. Ahead of that, the Federal Open Market Committee holds its two-day meeting this week, with no change expected in interest rates until December.

At home, labour market data is due out on Wednesday that will show whether any wage inflation is emerging ahead of the Reserve Bank's monetary policy statement next month, while the Reserve Bank's survey of expectations will show whether inflation is emerging and whether expectations of low inflation are becoming entrenched.

The kiwi traded at 58.81 British pence from 58.74 pence in New York on Friday, slipped to 4.8421 yuan from 4.8516 yuan, dropped to 65.01 euro cents from 65.14 cents, fell to 94.06 Australian cents from 94.15 cents and dropped to 74.47 yen from 74.96 yen last week.

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