Kiwi jumps against euro

NIKO KLOETEN
Last updated 17:23 05/09/2014

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The New Zealand dollar has climbed nearly a cent against the euro after the European Central Bank cut interest rates.

The kiwi hit a six-week high of €64.3c just before 4am today, soon after the bank's announcement of a raft of policy measures at midnight (NZ time). The dollar had been trading at €63.3c.

The ECB cut its official interest rates by 10 basis points, including its deposit rate, already negative at -0.10 per cent, to -0.20 per cent.

ECB president Mario Draghi said the much-anticipated asset purchase scheme would start next month, and he announced a third round of the ECB's covered bond purchase programme.

BNZ currency strategist Raiko Shareef said in a research note: "The ECB gave no indication of the intended size of the individual programmes announced today, but in all, Draghi expects to see the ECB's balance sheet return to its size in 2012.

"This implies about €1.1 trillion worth of asset purchases from here, or a 50 per cent increase."

The kiwi was trading at US82.8c and A88.6c shortly before 2.30pm today.

Shareef said markets would watch the monthly United States employment reports closely tonight.

"The US dollar rally to date looks fairly robust, and it would take a rather catastrophic number to significantly derail it," he said.

Markets were expecting headline non-farm payrolls growth of more than 230,000 and the unemployment rate to edge lower to 6.1 per cent.

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