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NZ dollar steady, markets look to US data

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/06/2017 Rebecca Howard

The New Zealand dollar was largely unchanged on Friday, holding the gains it made when the central bank held rates steady Thursday.

And - contrary to expectations - was relatively sanguine about the kiwi's strength.

The kiwi was trading at US72.67c as at 5pm from US72.63c as at 8am in Wellington and from 72.52c Thursday.

Tim Kelleher, head of institutional foreign exchange sales at ASB Bank, said he was surprised there wasn't more follow through after the central bank's statement.

Governor Graeme Wheeler kept the benchmark rate unchanged at 1.75 per cent and said a lower New Zealand dollar would help rebalance the growth outlook towards the tradables sector.

"I would have thought the kiwi would have tested higher, but it may be running into sellers around these levels," said Mr Kelleher.

He said trading, however, was very quiet as month- and year-end approach for several of banks. The northern hemisphere summer may also be sidelining investors, he said.

Looking ahead, he said markets will be looking at new home sales data overnight in the US and flash PMI data, ahead of a raft of releases next week, including gross domestic product data and core PCE price index data.

Domestically next week will bring international trade figures and building consents data and "we suspect that both will provide some signs that GDP growth in the second quarter will beat the first quarter's 0.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter," Capital Economics chief Australia & New Zealand economist Paul Dales said.

The kiwi traded at 57.20 British pence from 57.22 pence and rose to 80.90 yen from 80.55 yen. It rose to 4.9719 yuan from 4.9530 yuan and gained to 65.09 euro cents from 64.91 cents. The kiwi dollar rose to A96.19c from 96c Thursday.

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