Kiwi down against greenback

LAURA WALTERS
Last updated 08:58 28/11/2013

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The New Zealand dollar is lower against the greenback after a strong run of US employment data and consumer confidence bolstered economic sentiment.

The kiwi recently traded at US81.26 cents, down from US81.92c at 5pm.

The trade-weighted index of major trading partners' currencies was 76.9.

Westpac market strategist Imre Speizer said most of the US data released overnight beat market expectations.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment aid unexpectedly. Initial claims for state jobless benefits fell 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 316,000, the US Labour Department said yesterday.

The second-straight week of declines defied economists' expectations for a rise in claims to 330,000 and raised hopes for strong payroll growth in November.

However, continued weakness in business spending on capital goods suggested slower economic growth in the fourth quarter.

The Thomson Reuters-University of Michigan's US consumer sentiment measure also rose in November as wealthier Americans' outlook on the economy improved.

The final reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment measured 75.1 for November, up from a final reading of 73.2 in October and above economists' median forecast of 73.5.

"Overall it's taken as a positive batch of data," Speizer said.

Markets were warming to the idea that US data would continue to impress.

US data had been "really depressed" in the past few months but that was looking to turn around.

A continued stream of good economic data out of the US would push the kiwi lower, he said.

This would come as a relief to New Zealand exporters who had been fighting against the high New Zealand dollar this year.

Speizer said he expected the kiwi to trade between US81.05c and US82c today, but it could drop below US80c before the end of the week.

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- Fairfax Media

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