Kiwi slips on Aussie consumer data

04:18, Feb 13 2013

The New Zealand dollar fell against the Australian currency today, after upbeat consumer sentiment figures lifted demand for the Aussie on a day otherwise marked by sideways trading.

The New Zealand dollar recently traded at A81.34 cents, down from A81.61c at 8am, and it slipped to US84.11c from US84.15c.

Data from across the Tasman showed consumer sentiment rose 7.7 per cent in February compared to January, its highest level in two years.

Imre Speizer, a market strategist at Westpac, said the figures suggested a sequence of rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of Australia in recent months were starting to trickle into the consumer end of the market, which spurred demand for the Australian currency on the day.

Still, last week's retail sales figures, which showed consumers bought 0.2 per cent less in December compared to November, may continue to stalk confidence in the Australian currency.

Outside of the cross, the New Zealand dollar spent most of the session trading in a tight range, with little in the way of data to spur activity in either direction.

Speizer said he expected the Kiwi to crack higher in the European session and looked on track to break through US84.40c, with downside movements limited to US83.80c.

That was partially driven by expectations of better retail sales data at the end of the week. Westpac is predicting a quarterly improvement of 2 per cent versus a median forecast of 1.4 per cent.

On the crosses the kiwi recently traded at 78.21 yen, down from 78.07 yen, and it rose to 62.57 euro cents from 62.53 euro cents.

The currency eased to 53.68 pence from 53.74 pence, and its rose to 76.22 on the Trade Weighted Index of major trading partners' currencies from 76.10.