5 Jan 2011

NZ dollar still high

8:30 am on 5 January 2011

Bank of New Zealand chief economist Tony Alexander says the New Zealand dollar is still higher than it was before Christmas, despite falling for a second day on news of weak manufacturing growth in China.

The dollar has fallen to 77.05 US cents from 77.34 US cents.

Financial markets in New Zealand reopen on Wednesday and China's attempt to slow its economy and curb high inflation by tightening monetary policy will be closely watched.

BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander says the main reason for the fall in the New Zealand dollar is manufacturing data.

But he says the kiwi is still 2 cents higher against the US dollar compared to just before Christmas.

Beijing raised key interest rates on 25 December, the second such move in less than three months.

The BBC reports the amount of money banks that keep in reserve, was also restricted to try to reduce bank lending levels.

China's economy grew at an annual pace of 9.6% in the three months to the end of September from 11.9% in the first quarter of the year.