5 Dec 2013

NZ dollar rises against currencies of most trading partners

7:12 pm on 5 December 2013

The New Zealand dollar has risen against the currencies of most of its major trading partners.

ASB Bank head of external foreign exchange sales Tim Kelleher says seasonal exports are helping to support the currency.

He says the kiwi has been ranging from 80 to 85 cents against the US in the last three or four months and given that it's now back towards towards 81.5 to 82 cents there has been some demand.

Mr Kelleher says there is also increased demand at this time of year from exporters and it's the lambing season so there is underlying demand for the currency regardless.

At about 5pm on Thursday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 82.10 US cents, up about a third of a cent from the same time on Tuesday.

It was also buying 90.74 Australian cents, also up about a third of a cent, and up at 50.11 British pence and 0.6042 euro.

It was unchanged at 84 yen.

Sharemarket falls for fifth day

The sharemarket fell for a fifth day, the benchmark Top 50 Index falling 14 points to 4720.

Tyndall Investment Management head of equities Rickey Ward says the market's weakness since the index peaked at 4984 points in early November probably reflects international investors fleeing the New Zealand market.

He says they are looking to sell because of political risks and regulatory concerns around a number of the newly listed state owned enterprises, and also Chorus.

Mr Ward says they bought the stocks because they had an ability to obtain stocks without influencing share prices, but they have now decided the risks are too high and they are exiting New Zealand.

He says local organisations are not able to absorb all the stocks being sold by international shareholders which is causing weakness in a number of those stocks.

Chorus fell 5.5 cents to $1.38, after the Government made it clear there's no more money to help Chorus build its part of the ultra fast broadband network.

But, the Government says there will be some assistance for the embattled phone lines company.

The two Government-controlled power companies both fell. Meridian's instalment receipts hit a fresh record low at 88.5 cents compared with their $1 issue price and Mighty River Power shares dropped 1 cent to $1.98.