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NZ Dollar Outlook: Kiwi may consolidate as RBNZ weighs in on upbeat trend

The New Zealand dollar may hold around current levels this week as traders anticipate Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler could take aim at its recent strength.

The kiwi will probably trade between 75.60 US cents and 79.30 cents this week, according to a BusinessDesk survey of 11 traders, strategists and brokers. Seven predict the kiwi will remain relatively unchanged this week, while four expect it to rise. It recently traded at 77.65 US cents.

The local currency started the week higher after a key US employment report at the end of last week failed to meet expectations, disappointing some traders who had pushed the greenback up ahead of the release. Still, traders are wary of pushing the kiwi too much higher given Wheeler is scheduled to speak following the release of the RBNZ's Financial Stability Report on Wednesday where he may take aim at the currency, which he has previously said is overvalued.

"Whilst there's no reason why Wheeler will deviate from the Financial Stability Report, he may mention something about the currency and if he does I don't think it will be in a good light as obviously the RBNZ have clearly stated that they want the currency lower, they believe that it is overvalued," said Stuart Ive, senior dealer, foreign exchange, at OMF. "That could be an opportunity to do a bit of jawboning on the downside again."

The New Zealand dollar has declined 12 percent since its July peak as the Reserve Bank has sought to lower its value, highlighting its unjustified levels and intervening in the market to pull it lower.

"We have come a long way on the downside and we do get periods of consolidation. We are probably entering one of those this week before we get any further solid US data that could send us lower, "said OMF's Ive.

"The kiwi may have a little bit more on the upside if Wheeler hadn't have been speaking, but you just don't know if he's going to mention the currency or not and the fact that he has got a platform to do so, I don't see any reason why he wouldn't. He will sneak it in there somehow I'm sure."

Governor Wheeler and deputy governor Grant Spencer will hold a press conference following the release of the report and Wheeler also appears before a parliamentary select committee later that day. Spencer is scheduled to speak to the Payments NZ conference in Auckland tomorrow.

In the Financial Stability Report, economists will be looking for the Reserve Bank's view on its restrictions on high-debt mortgage lending and rural debt levels.

Other reports due in New Zealand this week include data on electronic card spending tomorrow; REINZ house prices on Wednesday and food prices, the performance of manufacturing index and consumer confidence on Thursday.

Elsewhere, US markets will be closed Tuesday for Veterans Day.

Meanwhile, traders will be eyeing Chinese data on Thursday spanning fixed investment, retail sales and industrial production for signs of how Asia's largest economy and New Zealand's biggest trading partner is tracking.

On Friday, data on third-quarter European GDP will also be closely watched.

This weekend, traders will be looking for developments coming from the G20 Leaders' Summit in Brisbane, Australia.