5 Sep 2008

NZ dollar continues rollercoaster ride

10:08 pm on 5 September 2008

The New Zealand dollar continued its rollercoaster ride on Friday, dropping below US66 cents on Friday for the first time in 22 months, on the back of weak economic data in the United States.

The dollar was caught up in a selloff of the Australian dollar following worse-than-expected unemployment numbers in the US and negative comments from the European and British central banks.

It is the second bout of sharp falls in the Kiwi dollar in a fortnight after the currency hit a high of US72c on August 22 this year.

The dollar came under pressure as speculation mounted that Japanese investors are poised to significantly unwind their investments around the world as the global economic picture looks increasingly gloomy.

This put pressure on all currencies, including the Australian and New Zealand dollars, which have significant exposure to the Japanese carry trade.

Economists say the initial weakness in the two currencies have triggered stop-loss sell orders by currency traders pushing the New Zealand dollar down further.