2 Jul 2014

Dollar weaker on Australian data

5:49 pm on 2 July 2014

The New Zealand dollar was weaker against the currencies of the country's major trading partners on Wednesday.

Rankin Treasury managing director Derek Rankin said the currency dropped after figures showed Australia's trade balance declined sharply in May to $1.9 billion.

"What's it's done, really, is pulled both the New Zealand dollar and the Australian dollar back today," Mr Rankin said.

"But that was a shocking number, that trade number, so the market is taken aback a bit."

A 4.9 percent drop in the Fonterra GlobalDairyTrade auction, to $US3595 a tonne, also affected the dollar, as did a 15-month low in the ANZ Bank's monthly Commodity Price Index.

"So we had two pieces of information that point to a lower currency," Mr Rankin said.

"The flip side to that is we've got higher interest rates so they're sort of doing battle at the moment, and interest rate increases are actually winning.

"That's why the New Zealand dollar is generally at elevated levels."

Just after 5pm, the New Zealand dollar was buying: 87.49 US cents, 92.59 Australian cents, 51.05 pence, 0.64 euro, 88.89 yen and 5.44 renminbi.

Shares little changed

New Zealand shares were little changed, the benchmark Top 50 Index gaining 3 points to 5149.

JB Were equities manager Rickey Ward said investors' attention was mostly elsewhere.

"You've got a market which has got a bit of IPO (initial public offering) fatigue, to be honest. There's a raft of floats coming and you really are heading into the thick of it as we speak," he said.

Tourism Holdings shares rose 7 cents to $1.19 and Wynyard shares gained 6 cents to $2.18 but shares in Goodman Fielder eased 1.5 cents to 70.5 cents.