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NZ dollar revives ahead of Fed minutes which may reflect gloomier US view

09 Apr 2015

The New Zealand dollar gained ahead of the release of minutes of the March 17-18 Federal Open Market Committee on speculation they will echo the tone of Fed officials at the time pointing to a slightly softer track for the US economy.

The kiwi rose to 75.41 US cents from 74.85 cents at the start of the day, to be little changed from yesterday. The trade-weighted index rose to 78.94 from 78.70.

The Fed's updated economic and rate forecasts last month showed policymakers saw the US economy growing at a more moderate rate than previously and Fed chair Janet Yellen said first-quarter data pointed to softer growth. Since then, data has been mixed, with weaker-than-expected non-farm payrolls and stronger-than-expected figures for job openings.

"If the minutes of the Fed are a fair reflection of what took place at the meeting then the US dollar should be weaker overnight," said Robert Rennie, chief currency strategist at Westpac Banking Corp. Some traders "are selling US dollars and buying currencies on the basis that the minutes will reflect the mood at that time."

The New Zealand dollar rose to 98.24 Australian cents from 98.04 cents, having slumped yesterday after the RBA unexpectedly kept its cash rate at 2.25 percent while saying further easing may be appropriate. Traders now expect the RBA to move to cut its cash rate to 2 percent at next month's meeting.

The kiwi rose to 69.53 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 rose to 90.38 yen from 90.14 yen and rose to 50.83 British pence from 50.57 pence.

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