29 Aug 2014

NZ dollar and market down

6:57 pm on 29 August 2014

The New Zealand dollar fell about half a cent today from its overnight high following stronger than expected economic news out of the United States.

Westpac currency strategist Imre Speizer said news that New Zealand business confidence had declined did not help.

"That pushed the Kiwi a bit lower again. So, from the peak of last night, where we got to just over 84 cents, it fell to this afternoon's low of 8358," he said.

Mr Speizer said that the dollar was taking a "breather" and he did not expect too much movement in the next few days.

At 5.20pm on Friday, the Kiwi was trading at 83.65 US cents, little changed from the same time yesterday. It was at 89.46 Australian cents, 50.43 British pence, 0.6345 euro, 86.83 yen and 5.14 renminbi.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand sharemarket fell on light volume, with the NZX Top 50 Index falling 14 points to 5223, at the close of trade on Friday.

Forsyth Barr manager Gary Moore said there was some profit-taking, as the latest round of financial reporting begins to wind down.

"Well, obviously pre-election is the big focus at the moment, people trying to predict what that might mean - what the various outcomes might mean for markets. Lots of stocks are going to go ex-dividends in the next few days, or few weeks, and that will have a bearing on income coming back into the market.

"There was a lot of profit-taking, I guess you'd call it, on fairly light volume after some fairly good dividend announcements over the last two weeks. A lot of stocks have come dividend and I guess a lot of investors took the opportunity to sell off ahead of that."

Air New Zealand shares fell 2 cents to $2.195 cents, Port of Tauranga fell 10 cents to $15.78 and Mainfreight was steady at $15.13.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs