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NZ dollar rises before job data

The New Zealand dollar was somewhat stronger when local jobs awaited local jobs in March on Wednesday, and the next day the Federal Reserve's latest views on monetary policy were published.

Kiwi traded at 66.79 US cents at 17:00 in Wellington from 66.60 at 8:00. The business weighted index rose from 72.62 to 72.82 points.

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Peter Cavanaugh, senior client advisor at Bancorp Treasury Services, says the local currency was doing well against the US dollar, as GDP figures were released on Friday.

Although the US economy grew at an annualized 3.2% pace in March, much stronger than expected at 2.3% growth, "the markets have decided that the details of GDP data are not great," says Cavanaugh.

The unexpected increase in GDP was caused by a sharp drop in imports, a sharp increase in inventories, and was offset by slower consumer spending and business investment.

Cavanaugh says the US market still has a full rate in the next twelve months, at a price in CZK.

"The market had to justify its position to lower the Fed's rates next year, so he was looking for all the negatives he could find."

The market expects the New Zealand unemployment rate to be between 4.2-4.4% in March and private sector wage inflation – including overtime – has increased by 0.5% over these three months.

The unemployment rate was 4.3% at the end of last year, a level that the Reserve Bank described as more or less sustainable, even though the official inflation rate in the year ending March was only 1.5%, below the central 2% target of the bank.

"If the unemployment rate falls again, it will mean that Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr will be in real embarrassment because he will win on this half of his mandate and lose on the second half," Cavanaugh says.

The New Zealand Dollar traded at 94.85 Australian cents from 94.45, 51.63 British money from 51.48, 59.85 Eurocent from 59.63, 74.53 Japanese yen from 74.21 and 4 4938 Chinese yuan from 4,44749.

New Zealand's two-year swap rate rose to 1.6480 percent from 1.6312 on Friday, while the 10-year swap rate fell from 2.1950 to 2.1930 percent.

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