19 Feb 2014

NZ dollar weaker as investors 're-evaluate'

7:37 pm on 19 February 2014

The New Zealand dollar was weaker against the currencies of all the country's trading partners.

Man walking on $20 bill

Photo: PHOTO NZ

Bancorp Treasury Services senior client advisor Peter Cavanaugh says weaker-than-expected retail sales figures earlier this week have led to investors re-evaluating the New Zealand dollar.

He says in the minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia's February meeting it was made clear that they are not considering a rate cut, that the rates will stay where they are for a while and the next move will be up, but that won't be until 2015.

Mr Cavanaugh says that puts the swing of sentiment slightly more towards Australia which has effected the New Zealand dollar on Wednesday.

At about 5pm on Wednesday, the Kiwi was trading at 83.05 US cents, the same as what it was trading at the same time on Tuesday, at 92.19 Australian cents, 49.75 British pence, 0.6031 euro and 84.83 yen.

Stockmarket trading firmer

Trading on the New Zealand stockmarket was firmer on Wednesday as reporting season gets underway.

The benchmark Top 50 Index closed up 19 points to 4914.

Tyndall head of equities Rickey Ward says the market was focused on the big three companies, Trade Me, EBOS and Meridian reporting on Wednesday.

He says the weak result delivered by Trade Me was generally expected by the market and EBOS had a good result on what was a weak underlying earnings process, while Meridian was a good result and an upgrade on expected prospectus numbers.

Trade Me shares fell 22 cents to $3.83 after the company reported a near 2 percent rise in net profit to $38 million for the six months to December, compared with $37.3 million last year.

Meridian shares rose half a cent to $1.04 after it easily beat its prospectus forecast for first-half profit, which was $117 million, 49 percent above forecast.

And Ebos shares have risen 25 cents to $9.95 after it tripled its half year net profit to $49.4 million, reflecting the major purchase of Symbion in Australia last year.