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NZ dollar dips on signs of US economic growth

The New Zealand dollar slipped as stocks on Wall Street rallied ahead of economic data that's expected to show a faster pace of growth in the world's biggest economy.

The kiwi declined to 77.24 US cents at 8am in Wellington from 77.49 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index decreased to 78.41 from 78.53 yesterday.

Stocks on Wall Street rose, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.6 percent, ahead of the third reading of US gross domestic product, which is expected to show a faster pace of growth in the US economy. The greenback has been rallying in recent months as strong US data stokes expectations the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates next year after running a zero rate policy since the global financial crisis.

"The story remains one of US strength and the market will be watching the data tonight," said Sam Tuck, senior FX strategist at ANZ Bank New Zealand in Auckland. "There's a sell on kiwi/US rallies theme for the quiet Christmas period - the kiwi's is generally stronger over this period, but there's a reasonable risk this year will be different given what's going on with the US dollar."

Traders will be watching New Zealand's November trade balance data today at 10.45am, which expected to show a wider annual trade deficit of $750 million.

ANZ's Tuck said falling commodity prices pose a risk to the export side, while and traders will be watching that component of the data.

The kiwi dollar was little changed at 94.87 Australian cents at 8am in Wellington from 94.94 cents yesterday after oil prices continued to decline, weighing on hard commodities such as those produced in Australia. The divergence between hard commodities, including oil and minerals, and soft commodities, such as food, may prompt the kiwi to test its post-float high against the Australian dollar over the Christmas and New Year period due to illiquid markets, Tuck said.

The local currency fell to 4.8078 Chinese yuan from 4.8209 yuan yesterday, and gained to 92.64 yen from 92.51 yen. It was little changed at 63.12 euro cents from 63.25 cents, and almost unchanged at 49.51 British pence from 49.52 pence.