22 Nov 2011

Uncertainty set to continue for NZ dollar

7:02 am on 22 November 2011

Currency traders say new governments in Europe will not stop the New Zealand dollar being buffeted by debt and budget deficit problems in Europe and the US.

In November alone, the dollar has fallen 8% due to fears that Europe is failing to deal with the debt crisis, which has spread beyond Greece to engulf Italy and Spain.

All three countries now have new governments to put in place austerity measures to cut their debt, although the Spanish government is the only one to have been elected.

Meanwhile, a US Congressional committee set up to discuss ways of reducing the federal deficit by at least US$1.2 trillion over the next decade, is reported to be deeply split along partisan lines.

HiFX senior dealer Dan Bell says the trend for the kiwi shows it depreciating, but its future prospects remain cloudy.

He says markets are currently trading off headlines and there is a lack of clarity about the overall direction things are going in.

He says that creates uncertainty that is not good for currencies like the kiwi, which are held by offshore investors wanting to pick up a better interest rate.

If there's uncertainty, Mr Bell says, they are more likely to take their money home to safe-haven currencies such as the US dollar and the Japanese yen.