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NZ dollar falls after US data suggests labour market less weak

08 Apr 2015

The New Zealand dollar fell after US economic data including job openings suggested the labour market in the world's biggest economy isn't as weak as implied by non-farm payrolls figures last week.

The kiwi fell to 74.85 US cents as at 8:30am in Wellington, from 75.42 cents late yesterday. The trade-weighted index declined to 78.52 from 78.70.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics' Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLT) survey showed job openings rose to 5.13 million in February, beating estimates of 5.007 million. The data comes after non-farm payrolls for March showed 126,000 jobs were added last month, well below the expected 245,000. The kiwi was little changed against the Australian dollar, having tumbled in the wake of the Reserve Bank of Australia's decision to leave its cash rate on hold.

"The USD found support overnight as markets focused on the array of other indicators - such as last night's JOLT job openings - that suggest the weak

payrolls number was an aberration rather than a trend change," said ANZ New Zealand chief economist Cameron Bagrie and senior FX strategist Sam Tuck, in a note.

The New Zealand dollar traded at 98.05 Australian cents from 98.04 cents at 5pm yesterday, after the RBA unexpectedly kept its cash rate at 2.25 percent while saying further easing may be appropriate. Following the RBA statement, cash rate futures were pricing in a 76 percent chance of a cut in May.

"It's a party we view as being put on ice as opposed to cancelled," ANZ said. "The more relevant question then is, what is to stop it from hitting 1.05? Once a psychological parity barrier is met, it is no longer such a "big deal".

The kiwi rose to 69.28 euro cents from 68.99 cents after the euro area composite PMI for March was revised down to 54.2 from 54.3 and ahead of a deadline at the end of the week for Greece to pay 450 million euros owed to the international Monetary Fund.

The kiwi was little changed at 90.14 yen and 50.57 British pence.

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