By Paul McBeth
The New Zealand dollar was little changed as the looming Christmas holiday thinned out trading activity, while US and local data kept the economic outlook largely intact.
The kiwi edged up to 68.14 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 68.06 cents at 8am and 68.05 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index was unchanged at 74.02.
Trading activity in the local session remained light ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays.
New Zealand's November trade deficit was slightly smaller than expectations, while US data yesterday showed slightly faster economic growth through the third quarter than anticipated, though American house sales were slowed by new regulations.
"People are just squaring up their long [US] dollar positions as they look to take a holiday and come back in the new year," said Mark Johnson, senior dealer foreign exchange at OMF in Wellington, referring to the practice of investors betting an asset will appreciate.
New Zealand's two-year swap rate increased one basis point to 2.85 percent at 5pm in Wellington, while 10-year swaps increased three basis points to 3.73 percent.
The local currency was little changed at 94.17 Australian cents from 94.28 cents yesterday, and rose to 4.4124 Chinese yuan from 4.4076 yuan. It was little changed at 82.44 yen from 82.52 yen, and traded at 62.24 euro cents from 62.32 cents. It increased to 45.93 British pence from 45.71 pence.