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NZ dollar little changed as US growth eyed

NZN 26/06/2017 Jonathan Underhill

The New Zealand dollar was little changed, having gained overnight following weak US data, and as investors await a speech from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen.

The kiwi was trading at US72.87c as at 8am in Wellington from US72.83c late on Monday.

The trade-weighted index edged up to 78.56 from 78.49.

The New Zealand dollar briefly gained overnight, reaching as high as US73.10c after figures showed US durable goods orders dropped 1.1 per cent in May, almost twice the decline expected.

Traders say the kiwi is close to key resistance levels, which are likely to gap further gains.

"While we believe New Zealand's economic credentials remain solid, we are mindful of chasing further strength at these levels," ANZ Bank New Zealand senior economist Philip Borkin said.

"All eyes will be on Yellen."

Yellen will deliver her speech in London on Tuesday, where the topic is global economic issues and where investors will be listening for any hint of a third US rate hike this year.

On Thursday, the final estimate for US first-quarter gross domestic product is expected to confirm the world's biggest economy grew 1.2 per cent and on Friday, the core PCE for May, Yellen's preferred inflation measure, may print at zero.

Ahead of Yellen's speech, New Zealand merchandise trade for May is on Tuesday expected to show a trade surplus of $419 million, just a tad down from the previous month's $578 million.

The kiwi traded at A96.03c from A96.08c.

The kiwi advanced to 57.23 British pence from 57.14 pence and rose against a broadly weaker Japanese currency to 81.53 yen from 81.04 yen.

It fell to 4.9782 yuan from 4.9806 yuan and traded at 65.09 euro cents from 65.07 euro cents.

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