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NZ dollar heads south after dairy auction

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/12/2016 Sean Martin

The New Zealand dollar briefly fell below 69 US cents for the first time since June, around the time the results of the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction were posted, which showed prices fell as expected.

The kiwi traded at 69.25 US cents as at 8am in Wellington, having earlier dropped as low as 68.80 cents, from 69.30 cents late on Tuesday. The trade-weighted index was little changed at 77.20.

Dairy prices fell for the first time in four auctions overnight, with whole milk powder down 0.8 per cent.

A decline at the last GDT auction for the year had been reflected in NZX dairy futures.

The kiwi dollar's decline coincided with the US dollar index rising to a new 14-year high, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average edging close to 20,000 for the first time amid optimism about the outlook for US economic growth and corporate profits, and the prospects for US President-elect Donald Trump to boost spending and cut taxes.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, known as Wall Street's fear gauge, has sunk to its lowest level in four months.

"This risk-loving environment would normally be positive for the NZD, but the USD remains the currency of choice, and it has nudged higher against most of the majors," said BNZ's Jason Wong.

Locally, traders will be watching for migration and tourism numbers for November, and the merchandise trade balance, which is expected to show the deficit narrowed to $500 million last month, from $846 million in October.

The local currency traded at 95.41 Australian cents from 95.45 cents, it slipped to 4.8073 yuan from 4.8166 yuan, gained to 81.42 yen from 81.25 yen, was at 66.55 euro cents from 66.54 cents and rose to 55.98 British pence from 55.85 pence.

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