6 Apr 2009

Dollar up as investors shake off risk fears

1:01 pm on 6 April 2009

The New Zealand dollar has hit its highest level in almost five months as investors become less averse to risk-taking.

By mid-Monday, it was trading at 59 US cents - its highest since early November last year.

Measures to deal with the global downturn announced by world leaders at last week's G20 summit in London gave confidence to investors, who have returned to riskier currencies such as the New Zealand dollar.

Sue Trinh, a currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets, says another contributor was that Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard's comments last week that interest rates were too high have worn off.

Ms Trinh says that, in the absence of further action by the Reserve Bank, the dollar is likely to continue to be pushed up up by investors' increased risk appetite.

G20 measures

Meanwhile, the shape of the world is beginning to emerge after the financial meltdown.

The G20 says it will establish a financial stability board to regulate and monitor toxic assets in the banking system, regulate hedge funds and impose sanctions for tax havens that do not fall into line.

It plans to put forward $US1.1 trillion to stabilise the countries worst hit by the global financial crisis.

The G20 has also pledged to jump-start global trade after fears of rising protectionism among its members.

Despite the pledge, the World Bank says 17 of the G20 countries have taken protectionist measures - a particular concern for the World Trade Organisation, which is keen to push forward the Doha development round.