NZ dollar up on stocks, Chinese package; bonds soft
Reuters - 2 hours 51 minutes ago
WELLINGTON, Nov 10 - The New Zealand dollar <NZD=> was firm but off its highs on Monday as investors were cheered by a clear-cut election outcome and stronger equity markets, which improved the appetite for risk.
Sentiment was buoyed by a rally in shares after Wall Street's gains on Friday and by news that the Chinese government planned to spend nearly $600 billion and relax monetary policy to cushion the world's fourth-largest economy from the global slowdown.
That saw the yen <JPY=> fall against high yielders such as the kiwi, as well as the euro and the dollar, as the Japanese currency's safe-haven attraction faded.
"While uncertainty about the global outlook persists, expect the NZ dollar to continue trading choppily within familiar ranges taking its cues from fluctuations in global equity markets," said Bank of New Zealand currency strategist Danica Hampton.
At 0400 GMT the kiwi was at $0.5963/73 compared with $0.5856/61 in late local trade on Friday.
The emphatic election win on Saturday by the centre-right National Party, with the support of two minor parties, ending nine years of Labour-led government was seen as positive.
"It is unlikely the final election result will have any great influence on the fundamentals of interest rates and exchange rates, growth rates and inflation rates. But in the short term a decisive result removes some uncertainty," ASB Bank economist Jane Turner said in a note.
The likely next New Zealand finance minister, Bill English, said it was possible the recession might continue well into 2009, and the new government would move quickly to bring in its stimulus package, which includes further tax cuts and infrastructure spending.
For more on the New Zealand election, see: [ID:nWEL376751]
Official data showed that the decline in house prices worsening with the Quotable Value house price index falling 6.8 percent in the year through October. See [ID:nSYD421388]
Local data this week includes third quarter retail sales, with expectations for sales volumes to grow by 0.4 percent compared with the second quarter's 1.5 percent fall.
The central bank releases on Wednesday its six-monthly financial stability report, which will give a look at how the global financial crisis is seen hitting New Zealand and the approach the bank is taking to mitigate the worst effects.
New Zealand bonds weakened in line with offshore markets as money moved back into share markets.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year bond <NZ10YT=RR> closed 7 basis points higher at 6 percent.
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