bizEDGE New Zealand logo
Story image

NZ dollar little changed ahead of retail sales data as US on holiday

The New Zealand dollar is little changed from last week as traders await retail sales data amid expectations of quiet trading with US markets on holiday for President's Day.

The kiwi was trading at 74.50 US cents at 8am in Wellington, from 74.52 cents at the New York close and 74.38 cents at 5pm in Wellington on Friday. The trade-weighted index was at 77.23 from 77.14 last week.

The New Zealand dollar was broadly steady over the weekend as traders mulled continuing talks between Greece and Eurozone finance ministers over the country's debt burden and a ceasefire agreement between Ukraine and rebel forces. With US traders out of the market, the kiwi is likely to take its direction from local data.

"We have the US holiday tonight for President's Day, so trading will be thin," said Stuart Ive, senior dealer, foreign exchange at OMF. "It's going to be a relatively slow start to the week. We will take our cue from the kiwi retail data this morning. That will really set the tone for the week."

New Zealand retail sales volumes probably rose 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, according to a Reuters poll of economists. The data is due for release at 10:45am.

The kiwi may break higher should the data beat expectations, however any gain would probably be capped at 75.50 cents as sellers entered the market, said OMF's Ive.

The BNZ-BusinessNZ Performance of Services Index is also scheduled for release at 10:30am today.

The New Zealand dollar edged up to 65.25 euro cents from 65.16 cents on Friday as traders await the outcome of Greece's debt talks. Meanwhile European growth data printed better-than-expected on Friday, with fourth quarter Eurozone gross domestic product of 0.3 percent, compared with the 0.2 percent expected, while Germany's economy grew 0.7 percent, above the 0.3 percent expected.

The kiwi was little changed at 48.27 British pence from 48.28 pence on Friday, at 88.06 yen from 88.17 yen and at 95.92 Australian cents from 95.70 cents.