6 Nov 2014

Dollar hits lowest level in two years

5:52 pm on 6 November 2014

The New Zealand dollar fell more than one-and-a-half US cents today to its lowest level since June 2012.

ANZ senior foreign exchange strategist Sam Tuck said the Australian jobs figures were better than expected, showing that the economy gained 33,400 fulltime jobs in October.

The Australian unemployment rate of 6.2 percent in October is still well above New Zealand's 5.4 percent rate at the end of September.

At 5.20pm today, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 76.85 US cents, 89.66 Australian cents, 48.13 British pence, 0.6152 euro, 88.53 yen and 4.7 renminbi.

New Zealand shares were little changed with the benchmark Top 50 Index gaining 1 point to 5504. Earlier today, the index reached a fresh record at 5429 points.

A portfolio manager at Harbour Asset Management, Craig Stent, said Mighty River Power's announcements were a highlight of the day.

The electricity generator and retailer said it expects a flat to lower annual operating profit for the year ending next June, but is forecasting a higher dividend.

At the annual shareholders' meeting, chief financial officer William Meek confirmed that the company's previous guidance the figure would be between $495 million and $520 million.

Mighty River Power shares climbed 3.5 cents to $2.87.5, Xero shares rose 43 cents to $16.93 and shares in Briscoe Group gained 15 cents to $2.95.

Spark shares fell 6 cents to $3.04, while Sky TV shares eased 15 cents to $6.45.