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Strong labour market lifts Aussie vs kiwi

NZN 18/05/2017 Jonathan Underhill

The New Zealand dollar declined against the Aussie dollar on Thursday after figures showed the Australian economy added more jobs than expected last month while the unemployment rate fell.

The kiwi dollar fell to A92.86c, having touched 93.50c immediately before the jobs data was released, from 92.90c Wednesday.

The local dollar traded at US69.28c from 68.96c.

Australia's unemployment rate fell to 5.7 per cent in April, while economists had expected no change at 5.9 per cent, and the economy added 37,400 jobs or more than seven times expectations.

Still, jobs growth came from part-time positions while full-time jobs fell, suggesting conditions aren't yet right for wage inflation or a rate hike by the central bank.

While the Australian dollar gained after the data there was little change in swap rates, an indication the market didn't change its view on interest rates markedly.

The kiwi gained against the greenback as the Australian dollar rose.

Also out about the same time as the Australian jobs figures was the ANZ-Roy Morgan NZ consumer confidence index, which rose 2.2 points to 123.9 in May, with the current conditions index gaining 4.6 points to 127.8 and the future conditions index edging up 0.4 of a point to 121.2.

A net 17 per cent of respondents expect New Zealand's economy to be in a good place in 12 months, up from 14 per cent a month earlier.

The survey respondents dialled back their inflation expectations, seeing an annual increase in consumer prices of 3.6 per cent over the next two years, down from 4 per cent in April, whereas house prices are seen rising 4.6 per cent, down from 5.2 per cent a month earlier.

The kiwi increased to 62.17 euro cents from 62.09c. The local currency increased to 53.42 British pence from 53.32 pence Wednesday and dropped to 77.01 yen from 77.60 yen. It rose to 4.7745 Chinese yuan from 4.7493 yuan.

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