11 Feb 2014

Dollar down on Australian, up against US

6:58 pm on 11 February 2014

The New Zealand dollar has fallen nearly half a cent against the Australian dollar but is slightly stronger against the US dollar.

One dollar coin

Photo: RNZ

Westpac currency strategist Imre Speizer said strong Australian business confidence data pushed the Australian dollar higher and pulled the New Zealand dollar a little higher too.

"Otherwise, though, the market is waiting for the next big event, which is the inaugural testimony from the new Federal Reserve chairperson Janet Yellen," Mr Speizer said.

"Although she's unlikely to signal any major changes to policy, the market will remain on alert for any surprises."

The widely watched National Australia Bank's Monthly Business Survey for January found views on business conditions had consolidated December's jump into positive territory by edging higher to a near a three-year high.

Confidence also bounced back from some declines over the past few months, rising from plus six to plus eight.

Both readings are around or just above long-term average levels, which has the bank's economists revisiting their economic growth forecasts.

Just after 5pm, the New Zealand dollar was buying: 83 US cents, 92.11 Australian cents, 50.54 pence, 0.6074 euro and 84.8 yen.

Share market stronger

The share market was stronger, the NZX Top 50 Index gaining 16 points to 4849.

Among the leaders, Fletcher Building gained 17 cents to $9.15.

However, Vector shares fell a further 7 cents to $2.31 after hitting a two-year low on Monday, and Auckland International Airport shares dropped 3 cents to $3.66.

Pumpkin Patch shares sank 7 cents to 60 cents, while Hallenstein Glasson fell 5 cents to $2.85 and The Warehouse was down 2 cents to $3.43.