Volatile employment data sends Kiwi lower

The New Zealand dollar bottomed out against the greenback overnight as yesterday's volatile jobs data continued to wash through the market.

The kiwi recently traded at US83.22 cents, down from US83.59c at 5pm yesterday, while on the Trade Weighted Index of major trading partners' currencies it rose slightly from 75.74 to 75.80.

The dollar has shed more than a cent since the release of yesterday's weak jobs report, and is now plumbing the bottom of its range.

The official unemployment rate fell to 6.9 per cent, but only because of a big drop in the participation rate to the lowest levels in eight years.

ASB Institutional head of FX sales Tim Kelleher said the kiwi struggled to rally after the latest set of volatile data.

"I've a great deal of trouble even putting any credence on it personally, but the market obviously takes it that way."

He said other factors also fed into the kiwi's weakness overnight, including long-term positioning from traders.

"It's almost like the markets have rallied in January, and we've seen a bit of  February clean-out again."

On the crosses, the New Zealand dollar recently traded at 80.87 Australian cents, down from A81.02 cents at 5pm yesterday, and fell to 77.76 Japanese yen from 78.09 yen. The kiwi opened at 62.10 euro cents, up from 61.87 euro cents, and slipped to 52.96 pence from 53.36p earlier

Kelleher said there was likely to be more selling activity if the kiwi slipped beneath this year's lows of US82.75c to US83c.