30 Apr 2012

AMP Capital expects NZ dollar to fall

7:18 am on 30 April 2012

At least one analyst thinks Reserve Bank Governor, Alan Bollard, may get his wish of a lower dollar.

The head of the central bank last week issued a dovish statement, signalling the cost of borrowing may stay on hold for longer, or even be cut, if the New Zealand dollar stays at its current high level.

AMP Capital Investors expects the New Zealand dollar to fall as commodity prices slip and a wider current account deficit weigh on investor sentiment.

The New Zealand dollar rose 4.6% against its US counterpart in the first three months of the year, as global investors bet on more risky currencies.

But AMP Capital Investors head of investment strategy and portfolio management Keith Poore says he thinks the dollar should be in the 70s - not the 80s.

"In the first quarter you got that strong US data and the market started reassessing when ... the US Fed would exit out of their zero rate interest policy and you saw a rally in the US dollar and the kiwi came up", he says.

Mr Poore says he expects the kiwi to be in the mid to high 70's at this time next year, but he's not forecasting the dollar to return to 60 cents, which is its historical average.

The prediction is at odds with a recent forecast by ASB, which is picking the currency to climb towards 90 US cents by early 2013 due to an improving global economy and expectations of higher interest rates.