25 Mar 2014

Dollar steady despite US confusion

6:09 pm on 25 March 2014

The New Zealand dollar is little changed against the currencies of all the country's major trading partners.

ASB Bank external foreign exchange sales head Tim Kelleher said that was despite some confusion about last week's comments from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen.

"The market is probably waiting for some more clarification from the other Fed speakers this week on just exactly what interpretation we should be taking from the Federal Reserve last week," Mr Kelleher said.

"In the meantime, the Kiwi dollar has gone sideways. Either way, we're going to be supported on dips because of the fact that we expect another rate hike from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in April."

That mean that even if there was bad news out of the US, or if comments from the Federal Reserve caused selling of equities, the Kiwi dollar would not fall too far given the underlying support due to the Reserve Bank's stance.

Just after 5pm, the New Zealand dollar was buying 85.52 US cents, 93.56 Australian cents, 51.82 pence, 0.618 euro and 87.47 yen.

Shares rise

The sharemarket has risen, the NZX Top 50 Index gaining 12 points to 5131.

Retailer Hallenstein Glasson Holdings was among the bright spots in today's market, gaining 7 cents to $3.07, while Kathmandu shares climbed 3 cents to $3.65.

Another highlight was shares in shell company TRS soaring after the news Dotcom's Mega will use the company as a backdoor listing and valuing Mega at $210 million. TRS shares rose from 0.1 cents to 1 cent.