16 Jul 2014

Falling Kiwi start of slide - analyst

6:04 pm on 16 July 2014

The New Zealand dollar has fallen more than a cent agains the US and is expected to continue to fall as economic data in New Zealand and overseas points to further weakness.

Bank of New Zealand currency strategist Raiko Shareef said the currency was battered by four events during the past 24 hours, including weaker-than-expected dairy prices and lower-than-expected inflation figures.

The average wholesale dairy price is 34 percent lower than the peak reached in February, while the Consumers Price Index rose 0.3 percent in the three months ended June, taking the annual increase to a lower-than-expected 1.6 percent.

Economists had been expecting a 1.8 percent rise and the central bank had been expecting a 1.7 percent annual increase.

"As for direction, from here, I think it is still quite a strongly negative New Zealand dollar story," Mr Shareef said.

"From a fundamental perspective, it's been strongly negative for a while and that's been our view for a long time but there haven't been very many factors driving it lower.

"A lot of it has been dominated by carry trade, which has kept the Kiwi dollar higher but today I think we've seen the upward momentum broken quite decisively and, really, the down slide begins from here."

Just after 5pm, the New Zealand dollar was buying 86.96 US cents - down from 88.07 cents this time on Tuesday - 93.11 Australian cents, 50.75 pence, 0.6413 euro, 88.47 yen and 5.4 renminbi.

Shares mixed

New Zealand shares were mixed, the benchmark Top 50 Index easing a single point to 5144.

Harbour Asset Management portfolio manager Shane Solly said Port of Tauranga benefited from the news that the Maersk line was returning.

"We're certainly seeing a mixed market here in New Zealand after a relatively soft global lead overnight," Mr Solly said.

Shares in Port of Tauranga rose 40 cents to $15.50, Fonterra shares, which only farmers can own, gained 4 cents to $5.89 and units in the Fonterra Shareholders' Fund, which anybody can own, climbed 3 cents to $5.88.

Sky Network Television shares fell 8 cents to $6.43.