13 Feb 2014

NZ dollar jumps against the Australian

7:44 pm on 13 February 2014

The New Zealand dollar gained more than three-quarters of a cent against the Australian dollar.

Rankin Treasury Advisory managing director Derek Rankin says poor jobs figures from Australia battered its currency.

He says the New Zealand dollar and the Australian dollar have both been in demand over the last week, mainly because of the testimony from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen.

Mr Rankin says there has also been some data that has come out that has been supportive of both the New Zealand and Australian dollars.

But he says the Australian jobs report came out on Thursday and 2700 jobs were lost, which was worse than expected.

Mr Rankin says unemployment rose to 6% which is the highest level since July 2003, which was lead to the Australian dollar dropping quite markedly.

At about 5pm on Thursday, the Kiwi was trading at 92.89 Australian cents, up from 92.1 cents the same time on Wednesday.

It was down a little at 83.11 US cents, 49.98 British pence and 0.6104 euro and down about two-thirds of a yen at 84.88 yen.

Sharemarket little changed

The sharemarket was little changed, the benchmark Top 50 Index gaining 4 points to 4874.

First NZ Capital broker Angus Marks says the market is looking for more leads from offshore.

He says after an active start to the year with some heavy selling offshore it has quietened down as the market digests data coming out of China and from the emerging markets.

Mr Marks says Fletcher Building shares were up and the trend has been to go higher over the last few weeks which could be due to positive housing data coming out of Australia and also the continued strength in New Zealand.

He says shares in the Commonwealth Bank in Australia were down a little and although it reported a reasonably good first half year result, the shares are viewed as fully valued.

Mr Marks says Sky City had reasonable first half results, but there is a focus on cost-cutting, which the market probably sees as giving a limited long-term prospect for the company.

Fletcher Building shares rose 4 cents to $9.45, Commonwealth Bank is down 28 cents to $A75.92 and Sky City is up 1 cent at $3.66.

Turners Auctions was the biggest gainer on Thursday, up 30 cents, or nearly 13 percent to $2.65 after it reported a 14 percent profit increase.

And the AX-listed Cooks was also up nearly 13 percent after it announced the signing of a new master franchisee agreement in Oman and Qatar which will mean at least 16 new Esquires Coffee Houses opening.