US debt deal sees kiwi soar

20:56, Jul 19 2011

The New Zealand dollar rose to a new post-float high on signs officials in Washington are close to sealing a deal to lift the debt ceiling in the world's largest economy.

The kiwi rose 76-basis points to a peak of US85.66 cents, its highest level in 26 years, as global commodity and equity rebounded after US President Barack Obama said progress was made towards a bi-partisan budget-reduction deal that would pave the way for US$14.29 trillion debt ceiling to be lifted.

On Wall Street, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rising 1.6 per cent to 1,326.73, Europe's Stoxx 600 Index gaining 0.8 per cent to 264.28, and the 19-commodity Thomson Reuters Jefferies CRB index climbing 0.8 per cent to 346.54.

The clear 'risk-on' signal saw growth-linked currencies outperform in the session, with the kiwi clear standout performer.

"The kiwi's trend is unambiguously positive, and it hasn't reached danger levels or signs of reversal," said Imre Speizer, a market strategist at Westpac.

"You would imagine that people would be buying on the dips and the 85 cent level looks like a very good place to do that."


Market sentiment was also bolstered ahead of a European finance ministers meeting later this week.

The price of European peripheral bonds rose amid hopes officials would finally hammer out the details on the Greek debt restructuring package at the meeting.

The kiwi recently traded at US85.52 cents, up from US84.80 cents yesterday, and rose to 73.87 on the trade-weighted index of major trading partners' currencies from 73.32. It rose to 79.83 Australian cents from 79.59 cents yesterday, and climbed to 67.75 yen from 67.02 yen. It climbed to 60.51 euro cents from 59.95 cents yesterday, and gained to 53.04 pence from 52.63 pence previously.

Average prices of dairy products fell to their lowest level since early December in Fonterra Cooperative Group's latest online auction.

The GDT-TWI Price Index fell 5.1 per cent to US$3,796 a metric tonne, according to the globalDairyTrade auction website, and follows a 6.7 per cent decline in the last sale two weeks ago.

The kiwi may trade in a range of US85 cents and US86 cents, Speizer said, with the bias towards the upside.