Dollar trades in tight range

19:53, Feb 18 2013

The New Zealand dollar traded in a tight range against the greenback overnight, with American markets on holiday and a dearth of news to drive investor sentiment.

The kiwi recently traded at US84.53 cents, up from US84.41c at 5pm yesterday, while on the Trade Weighted Index of major trading partners' currencies it was unchanged at 76.90.

ASB Institutional head of FX sales Tim Kelleher said there was no lead from equity markets with Wall Street closed for America's President's Day holiday.

He expected the kiwi to drift sideways ahead of the release of the Reserve Bank of Australia's minutes from a meeting this month, which would be a key driver of the Aussie cross rate later today.

"The bigger one tomorrow is [Reserve Bank governor] Graeme Wheeler speaking to the manufacturers and exporters association," Kelleher said.

"That's probably going to hold sway over most of the New Zealand market - we'll see what he says about the currency."

Exporters are feeling the pain of the high exchange rate, but Kelleher said there was little the Reserve Bank could realistically do about it.

On the crosses, the kiwi recently traded at 82.08 Australian cents, up slightly from A82.03c at 5pm yesterday, 63.29 euro cents, little changed from 63.31c, 54.67 pence, up from 54.52p, and was unchanged at 79.43 yen.

Kelleher expected the kiwi to trade in a range between US84.25c and US85c today.