NZ dollar edges up ahead of US election

  • 07/11/2016
New Zealand Currency on White

The New Zealand dollar edged up as the greenback fell to a month-low ahead of what's expected to be a close-run US presidential election.

The kiwi traded at 73.17 US cents as at 8am in Wellington, from 73.28 cents in late New York trading on Friday and from 73.14 cents in Asia at the end of last week. The trade-weighted index was at 78.44, little changed from Friday in New York and from 78.35 in Wellington on Friday.

The US dollar index fell to its lowest level in almost a month on Friday and the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, known as Wall Street's fear gauge, rose to the highest level in more than four weeks.

It came after US non-farm payrolls showed 161,000 jobs were added in October, just shy of the 173,000 expected by economists.

Meanwhile, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal national poll showed 44 percent support for Democrat Hillary Clinton to 40 percent for Republican Donald Trump, while the New York Times wrote in an editorial that a Trump victory would be a "catastrophe".

"A decent US jobs report [after revisions] saw only a brief market response, the focus remaining on Tuesday's US election, the mood risk averse," Westpacs's Imre Speizer said. "Tuesday's election is shaping up to be a close race."

Traders are also looking ahead to the monetary policy statement on Thursday, where governor Graeme Wheeler is widely expected to cut the official cash rate a quarter point to 1.75 percent.

"Markets are now assuming the widely expected rate cut on 10 November will be the last in this cycle (barring an offshore-sourced shock)," Mr Speizer said.

The local currency traded at 95.22 Australian cents, little changed from last week, was at 4.9415 yuan, down from 4.9469 yuan in New York and 4.9456 yuan, it fell to 58.44 British pence from 58.52 pence, increased to 65.82 euro cents from 65.70 cents and edged up to 75.61 yen from 75.54 yen last week.