21 Aug 2014

Further drop for NZ dollar

5:54 pm on 21 August 2014

The New Zealand dollar fell about half a US cent today, after breaking below a key support level at 84 US cents.

Bank of New Zealand foreign exchange strategist Raiko Shareef said the market was closely watching events in the United States, for signs of an earlier than expected movement in interest rates.

"Currently it's expected to be around the third quarter of next year and really the risks are pointing towards an earlier rise in that," Mr Shareef said.

"The market's really ramping itself up for (US Federal Reserve chair) Janet Yellen's speech about midnight or early morning our time on Saturday morning, which might help the US dollar gain even further."

A short time ago, the kiwi was trading at 83.53 US cents, at 90.29 Australian cents, 50.42 British pence, 0.6306 euro, 86.77 yen and 5.14 renminbi.

Shares continue to climb

New Zealand shares were stronger today, with the benchmark Top 50 Index climbing 13 points to 5153.

Craigs Investment Partners head of wealth research Mark Lister said the New Zealand market outperformed a number of markets in the region.

"We were up slightly across the Asian region. There's a bit of up and down. Australia's in positive territory. A few of the other markets across the region are down but the New Zealand market up slightly. We've had a few results today and some have gone better than others, so it's a reasonably mixed bag," he said.

"Some of the positive ones include Port of Tauranga, who recorded another strong result, another record result. Skellerup is one of the stocks that has fallen, it's off a little bit today. They managed to grow their profit but it didn't quite meet analysts' expectations."

The price of shares in Port of Tauranga rose 60 cents to $15.90, AMP rose 19 cents to $6.29 and Skellerup fell 7 cents to $1.60.

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