5 Nov 2013

Dollar little changed, but shares produce winners and losers

7:57 pm on 5 November 2013

The normally volatile New Zealand dollar was little changed on Tuesday, and Westpac currency strategist Imre Speizer says trading was in part sidelined by Australasia's biggest horse racing event. the Melbourne Cup.

One measure of the degree of obsession with the Melbourne Cup race is that the Macquarie Bank even prepared a mock research report on the likely winners, complete with quantitative analysis.

Other optimists included investors who pushed up the price of accounting firm Xero's shares by as much as $3.77, to as high as $33.90 before the stock closed at $33.15.

That was a major reason for the benchmark Top 50 Index rising 28 points to 4939, a record close.

An investment advisor at Forsyth Barr, Dave Schaper, says Xero's progress is remarkable, while the telephone lines company, Chorus, has been suffering after the corporate regulator ruled the wholesale price it can charge for broadband over copper wires must halve by December next year.

Chorus shares fell 18 cents to $2.45.

The market is speculating the European Central Bank will cut interest rates on Thursday.

At the close of the local business day, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 82.69 US cents, 87.21 Australian cents, 51.76 British pence, 0.6119 euro and 81.40 yen.