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NZD up as traders look to US election

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 31/10/2016 Jonathan Underhill
© Brendon O'Hagan /Bloomberg News

The New Zealand dollar gained as traders pondered the risks associated with the US election next week and awaited key data including employment, the survey of expectations and US non-farm payrolls.

The kiwi traded at 71.51 US cents as at 5pm 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 was little changed at 77.07.

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

Traders said in the less likely scenario of a Donald Trump win, the US dollar could gain, as global risk aversion falls.

"Even if the least likely scenario is to happen - Hillary blows it - then we would have to expect risk aversion and the US dollar would see safe-haven flows," said Nick Tvedt, senior corporate FX dealer at NZForex.

Labour market data on Wednesday is expected to show the jobless rate fell to 5 per cent in the third quarter from 5.1 per cent, while employment growth slowed to 0.8 per cent, according to UBS. Labour costs probably remained subdued.

US labour market data rounds out the week, with economists polled by Reuters seeing a rise in nonfarm payrolls to 175,000 in October, from 156,000 the previous month.

The kiwi traded at 58.68 British pence from 58.74 pence in New York on Friday. It slipped to 4.8415 yuan from 4.8516 yuan and edged up to 65.20 euro cents from 65.14 cents. The kiwi fell to 93.99 Australian cents from 94.15 cents, with no change expected from the Reserve Bank of Australia tomorrow, and it traded at 74.97 yen from 74.96 yen last week.

New Zealand's two-year swap rate fell 2 basis points to 2.09 per cent while the 10-year swaps fell 3 basis points to 2.78 per cent.

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