28 Feb 2014

Kiwi climbs against the Australian

11:00 am on 28 February 2014

The New Zealand dollar climbed more than half a cent against the Australian dollar on Thursday.

ASB Bank head of external foreign exchange sales Tim Kelleher says poor figures from Australia on capital spending in the mining industry hurt the Australian dollar.

One dollar coin

Photo: RNZ

He says the spending figures were about 5 percent weaker than expected.

Mr Kelleher says Australia had poor capital expenditure figures, which continued this week's trend of weak data from Australia.

But he says the New Zealand trade balance that came out on Thursday was very strong and showed a continued demand for agricultural export products into China.

It also showed the highest ever trade surplus for a January - $306 million.

At about 5pm on Thursday, the Kiwi was trading at 93.09 Australian cents compared with 92.48 cents at that time on Tuesday. It was also trading at 83.22 US cents, 49.90 British pence, 0.6079 euro and 85.2 yen.

Shares weaker

New Zealand shares were weaker, the benchmark Top 50 Index falling 9 points to 4964.

Air New Zealand shares gained 1.5 cents to $1.76.5, units in the Fonterra Shareholders' Fund fell 2c to $6.20 and Hellaby shares dropped 18c to $3.10.

Mint Asset Management portfolio manager Anthony Halls says the Air New Zealand result was a very good one. He

says Air New Zealand has a fleet expansion coming in the next 18 months to two years, with new aircraft replacing older ones.

He says the company will benefit from some reasonable-sized cost savings through greater efficiencies with the new aircraft.

Mr Halls says the increased payout to farmers narrows the margins for investors in the Fonterra shareholder fund, who receive the margin between the milk powder price and what Fonterra sells in terms of more developed products such as cheese and casein products.

He says the Hellaby result was also weaker than expected.