17 Jun 2014

Australian dollar drags Kiwi down

6:02 pm on 17 June 2014

The New Zealand dollar is mostly weaker against the currencies of the country's major trading partners but gained against the Australian dollar.

Westpac currency strategist Imre Spiezer said much of the reason was due to the Australian dollar dragging the Kiwi lower.

"A little bit of slippage over the last 12 hours. Bear in mind that's from a recent high of US87 cents," he said.

"A couple of reasons - the Australian central bank sounded a soft warning against its own elevated currency, and the Aussie fell, the Kiwi went with it in sympathy.

"Also, we have a meeting of the US central bank later this week. The market thinks it's possible they might sound more inclined to hike rates a little bit earlier than what they had previously said, and that should support the US dollar."

Just after 5pm, the New Zealand dollar was buying: 86.59 US cents, 92.49 Australian cents, 51.02 pence, 0.6382 euro, 88.28 yen and 5.4 renminbi.

Shares up 15 points

New Zealand shares rose on Tuesday, the benchmark Top 50 Index gaining 15 points to 5194.

Hamilton, Hinden, Green director Grant Williamson said the market was searching for direction.

"We haven't really got any great leads from offshore markets today, so our market is a little bit firmer but relatively quiet trading," Mr Williamson said.

Heartland New Zealand shares rose 2 cents to 92 cents and Diligent shares gained 12 cents to $4.41.

But shares in The Warehouse eased 10 cents to $3.24 and Briscoes shares fell 8 cents to $2.52.