3 Oct 2014

Markets awaiting US jobs report

6:09 pm on 3 October 2014

The New Zealand dollar has been trading in a narrow range against Greenback today, ahead of the release of some key United States economic data tonight. The sharemarket was little changed.

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Westpac currency strategist Imre Speizer said this evening that the US jobs data has the potential to move the Greenback against the kiwi.

"The last 24 hours have been relatively calm - it's ranged sideways between 78.40 and 79.20, so certainly not much going on during today's local session.

"Markets here and indeed globally are looking forward to probably the most important piece of economic data to come out during the month, which is the US payrolls report that comes out tonight. That will be instrumental in driving the US dollar ... A better payrolls report would be weak for the Kiwi-US exchange rate tonight."

At 5,20pm today, the kiwi was trading at 78.66 US cents, 89.47 Australian cents, 48.76 British pence, 0.6215 euro, 85.60 yen and 4.83 renminbi.

The New Zealand sharemarket was little changed today, with the benchmark Top 50 Index fell 8 points to 5237 by the close of trade.

The director of wealth management at Murray & Co, Johnny Cochrane, said the market saw some bargain hunting.

"The New Zealand equity market was unchanged today with activity levels picking up this month after a quiet September. Gainers today were Meridian catching a bid from bargain hunters and companies that would benefit from a lower New Zealand dollar, such as Skellerup, Ebos and A2 Milk."

Mr Cochrane said Heartland Bank and Spark stocks had strong runs this year after investors pursued their dividend yields.

Meridian Energy's share price rose 4.5 cents to $1.45, Skellerup was up 1 cent to $1.52, Ebos gained 3 cents to $9.05 and A2 Milk was 1 cent higher at 59 cents.

Heartland Bank fell 1 cent to $1.01, while Spark was down 7 cents to $2.90