Thursday morning in Asia, the New Zealand dollar eased from a 2-month high against the Aussie and a 2-day high against the US currency following an announcement by the RBNZ to hold rates unchanged at 2.5%. The kiwi also declined against the euro and the yen.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand left interest rates steady, but hinted that rate increases could be coming soon. The RBNZ announced that its Official Cash Rate would remain at 2.50 percent.
In an accompanying statement, RBNZ Governor Allan Bollard said New Zealand’s economy was “recovering broadly as expected and growth is expected to pick up further through 2010.”
The central bank changed the wording of its statement on future rates. Previous statements said rates would hold steady until the “middle of the year.” Today’s statement, however said the bank expected to start raising in “coming months.”
Shortly after the RBNZ announcement, Statistics New Zealand revealed that the nation’s overseas trade surplus for March grew to its largest level since 2002. The March monthly trade surplus was NZ$567 million, representing 14.0 percent of exports.
Asian stocks markets are exhibiting mixed trading today. While the Australian, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan markets are falling, markets in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia are trading higher.
However, the Japanese stock market is off on holiday in observance of Showa Day, or Greenery Day.
The New Zealand dollar slipped against the Japanese yen in early Asian deals on Thursday. As of now, the kiwi-yen pair is worth 67.20, down from yesterday’s close of 67.79. If the kiwi weakens further, it may likely target the 66.0 level.
The New Zealand dollar fell against the US currency after reaching a 2-day high of 0.7232 at 5:00 pm ET Wednesday. Currently, the kiwi-greenback pair is worth 0.7165 with 0.710 seen as the next downside target level.
As expected, the Federal Reserve announced yesterday afternoon that it has decided to leave interest rates unchanged and reiterated that rates are likely to remain at exceptionally low levels for an extended period.
The Federal Open Market Committee, the policy-setting arm of the Fed, said that it would maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at zero to 0.25 percent. The rate target has remained unchanged since December of 2008.
The New Zealand dollar that soared to a 2-month high of 1.2812 against the Aussie at 5:00 pm ET Wednesday declined thereafter. At present, the kiwi is worth 1.2910 against the aussie. The next downside target level for the kiwi is seen at 1.295.
Australia’s Conference Board leading index report for February released in the session likely influenced the Aussie.
During early Asian deals on Thursday, the New Zealand dollar dropped against the euro. The euro-kiwi pair that closed yesterday’s trading at 1.8345 is presently worth 1.8440. If the kiwi slides further, it may likely target the 1.850 level.
The euro tumbled to a new multi-year low against the kiwi yesterday as Standard & Poor’s cut the debt rating of Spain, a sign the European deficit crisis is spreading from Greece.
Looking ahead, German April unemployment rate, Euro-zone M3 money supply data for March and the economic, business, consumer and industrial confidence reports-all for the month of April are slated for release in the upcoming European session.
Turning to the U.S., the Labor Department’s customary weekly jobless claims data for the week ended April 24 is expected in the New York session.