1 Jul 2014

NZ dollar and NZX little changed

6:06 pm on 1 July 2014

The New Zealand dollar is little changed on Tuesday against all the currencies of the country's major trading partners.

ASB Bank head of external foreign exchange sales Tim Kelleher said the Australian dollar rose after the Reserve Bank of Australia was less hawkish than expected when announcing its decision to leave its cash rate unchanged at 2.5 percent.

He said the market probably expected that the Reserve Bank would talk the Australian dollar lower, but the market was happy to see the Australian dollar at current levels. Mr Kelleher said it still looked reasonably attractive to offshore buyers at the current market levels.

The Reserve Bank of Australia says commodity prices remain historically high, but some of those important to Australia have declined.

Mr Kelleher said kiwi was down slightly against the Australian dollar and it was stable ahead of the Fonterra auction on Tuesday night.

At about 5pm on Tuesday, the kiwi was trading at 87.63 US cents, 92.74 Australian cents, 51.23 British pence, 0.6403 euro, 88.91 yen and 5.44 renminbi.

NZ shares little changed

New Zealand shares were also little changed with the benchmark Top 50 Index up 5 points to 5146.

Murray and Co director of wealth management Johnny Cochrane said share price declines of the Australian banks listed on the New Zealand exchange pulled the market lower than it otherwise would have been.

He said it was a relatively quiet day on the NZX with weakness in the dual listed Australian banks, Westpac and ANZ were both down slightly on weakness across the Tasman.

Mr Cochrane said OceanaGold was up off the back of a rally in the gold price overnight.

Westpac shares fell 62 cents to $36.10 and ANZ shares were down 35 cents at $35.55.

Shares in OceanaGold rose 11 cents to $3.55 while Tower shares gained 2 cents to $1.83.

Tower has sold its remaining life insurance business to Foundation Life for $36 million.