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NZ dollar gains after upbeat Chinese exports, softer US employment

The New Zealand dollar gained after Chinese data showed better-than-expected export figures and after Friday's lower-than-anticipated jobs growth in the US.

The kiwi rose to 77.87 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 77.72 cents at 8am and 77.51 cents on Friday in New York. The trade-weighted index gained to 77.01 from 76.34 last week.

China's trade surplus expanded to US$45.4 billion in October, beating expectations, while consumer prices rose at an annual pace of 1.6 percent and producer prices were more subdued, falling 2.2 percent, according to official figures. The mixed data stoked demand for the Australian dollar, dragging the kiwi higher, after US non-farm payrolls showed American employers added 214,000 jobs last month, below expectations.

"The sell-off in the US dollar wasn't overly severe - the payrolls data wasn't a terrible figure, people were just expecting a little bit more," said Michael Johnston, senior dealer at HiFX in Auckland. "Chinese inflation was pretty much in line with expectations and the PPI came in a little lower than expected, with the net result the kiwi nudging up."

HiFX's Johnston said the local currency may push up to 78.20/30 US cents with a US Veterans Day holiday tomorrow likely to keep the market quiet.

A BusinessDesk survey of 11 traders, strategists and brokers predicts the kiwi will probably trade between 75.60 US cents and 79.30 cents this week. Seven expect the kiwi to remain relatively unchanged this week, while four predict it will rise.

Traders will be watching Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler on Wednesday when he releases the bank's six-monthly financial stability report for any comments he might make over the strength of the currency.

This week's Group of 20 nations leaders' summit in Brisbane, Australia will also be watched for any developments.

The local currency gained to 88.96 yen at 5pm in Wellington from 88.77 yen on Friday in New York, and was little changed at 89.76 Australian cents from 89.74 cents last week. It rose to 62.37 euro cents from 62.22 cents on Friday in New York, and advanced to 48.97 British pence from 48.82 pence.