2 Dec 2014

NZ dollar falls as oil price volatility unsettles markets

5:53 pm on 2 December 2014

The New Zealand dollar is slightly weaker from its opening this morning, as oil price volatility unsettles global financial markets.

Brent crude fell to five-year lows of near $US67.50 a barrel, overnight.

Rankin Treasury Advisory director Derek Rankin said the kiwi had taken its lead from the Australian dollar, which was particularly vulnerable to the fall in oil prices.

He said the Reserve Bank of Australia is meeting but not expected to do anything on interest rates, but the next Fonterra dairy auction takes place overnight.

"Both the New Zealand dollar and the Australian dollars are reasonably firm at the moment and of course the US dollar itself is still reacting to the news around the oil prices."

At about 5pm, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 78.78 US cents, 92.51 Australian, 50.07 British pence, 0.6319 euro, 93.25 yen and 4.84 renminbi.

NZ shares little changed

New Zealand shares were little changed today. The benchmark Top 50 Index rose 4 points to 5430.

Hamilton, Hinden director Green, Grant Williamson said the local market did not follow Wall Street's weaker lead with the New Zealand market relatively flat today.

However, he said the Chorus share prices was up significantly after the Commerce Commission announcement of their draft determination regarding wholesale charges, but it will see Spark's input costs increase.

Chorus shares climbed 37-cents to $2.51, while Spark's price fell 9.5 cents to $3.02.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 15 cents to $5.70.

Fletcher Building was down 15 cents to $8.05.

While Contact Energy rose 15 cents to $6.28 and Mighty River rose 7 cents to $3.03.