29 Jan 2015

NZ dollar falls on news of potential rate cuts

7:27 pm on 29 January 2015

The New Zealand dollar fell more than a US cent today to its lowest level in nearly four years after the Reserve Bank opened the door to potential interest rate cuts.

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler said he expected to keep his official cash rate on hold for some time and that future moves would depend on emerging economic data.

Chief economist at Westpac Dominick Stephens said the currency could fall further overnight as investors overseas absorbed the central bank's comments.

A short time ago, the kiwi was trading at 73.33 US cents, above the day's low at 73.1 cents, 92.95 Australian cents, 48.43 British pence, point-6502 euro, 86.46 yen and 4.58 renminbi.

NZ shares fall

New Zealand shares fell for the first time in six trading days, the benchmark Top 50 Index easing 35 points to 5760 from yesterday's record.

Portfolio manager at Harbour Asset Management, Shane Solly said a small fall in the index today was not too surprising, given its strong run and the more than 1 percent fall in the Dow Jones index in the United States.

Shares in Mighty River Power fell 14 cents to $3.41, up from $3.33 a week ago, and Spark shares shed 13.5 cents to $3.36.

Shares in Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 5 cents to $6.31, Pacific Edge shares gained 3 cents to 78 cents and shares in Air New Zealand shed 1 cent to $2.61 after earlier being up 6 cents.