4 Oct 2013

Dollar weaker as all eyes on US

6:55 pm on 4 October 2013

The New Zealand dollar was mostly slightly weaker as all eyes remained on the political wrangling in Washington.

Bancorp Treasury Services senior client advisor Peter Cavanaugh said the kiwi was largely sidelined in the meantime.

"Everybody is looking at what's going in Washington and whether and if and when they come to an agreement on the government financing and, of course, increasingly getting worried about the looming debt ceiling," Mr Cavanaugh said.

Just after 5pm, the New Zealand dollar was buying: 82.94 US cents, 0.6085 euro 51.26 pence, 89.90 Australian cents and 80.62 yen.

Stock market waits

The stock market was in watch-and-wait mode too, the NZX Top 50 Index closing down 11 points at 4759.

Salt Funds Management managing director Paul Harrison said American politics were also hurting trading in stocks.

"It's certainly taken any steam out of our market. The stock market's down only slightly though," he said.

"Australia is obviously down a little bit, which also influences our market, and we're seeing that influence the Fletcher Building price here today, so that's down a little bit on the day."

Telecom was down after Vodafone released its ultra-fast broadband plans, leaving investors wary of what that might entail given how aggressive Vodafone had been in the mobile market, and what that might do for earnings if they're also aggressive in the fibre market, Mr Harrison said.

Fletcher Building shares fell six cents to $9.46 and Telecom shed one-and-a-half cents to $2.30. Sky TV shares gained 12 cents to $6.18.