24 Sep 2013

Dollar down, stock market up

7:32 pm on 24 September 2013

The New Zealand dollar has fallen against the country's major trading partners.

ANZ senior manager of foreign exchange Sam Tuck said the New Zealand dollar was unwinding from the climbs it made late last week after the United States Federal Reserve announced it would not make any changes to its economic stimulus package.

That had made people cautious about speculating on the Australian-US or New Zealand-US, so they were looking for opportunities to trade relative value that did not involve the US dollar, Mr Tuck said.

"What's been seen of late is there has been a disconnect between the Australian dollar and the New Zealand dollar's performance post the taper, or non-taper, event last week, where the Australian dollar declined most of its taper gains but the New Zealand dollar held on to all of the gains," he said.

"It's retracing those steps slightly, coming back to around the 88c level against the Australian dollar, where it was trading before the Fed tapering event last week."

Just after 5pm, the New Zealand dollar was buying: 83.39 US cents, 88.58 Australian cents, 52.02 pence, 82.31 yen and 0.6177 euro.

Stock market up

Meanwhile, the stock market has closed up, with the NZX Top 50 Index gaining nine points to close at 4710.

Salt Funds Management managing director Paul Harrison said local markets had a contrary move to the offshore markets overnight, which all closed down.

"We're seeing some buying of stocks come dividend, for example Fletcher Building goes ex dividend tomorrow, as well as Chorus. They're both up," Mr Harrison said.

"We've also had a very good result out of Kathmandu today. That stock is currently up about 12% as investors have been a little bit relieved and pleasantly surprised by their result today."

Kathmandu made a net profit after tax of more than $44 million dollars in the 12 months to the end of July, an increase of nearly 27% compared with last year.

Among stocks to fall today were Oceania Gold Corporation and Mighty River power. As well, Fonterra was down 6c.

"They've (Fonterra) just announced that their dividend might be under threat and have talked about using their balance sheet to support their dividend," Mr Harrison said.

Salt has $650 million of funds under management.