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Kiwi holds in recent range ahead of Australian data

The New Zealand dollar was trading near 84 US cents this morning after dipping overnight as traders await Australian employment data today.

The kiwi was at 84.01 cents at 8am, little changed from 84.06 US cents at 5pm yesterday. It slid towards 83.65 cents overnight.

A 1.1 percent rise in dairy prices in a Fonterra online auction and positive results from US banks bolstered sentiment in a market that had had a risk-off tone yesterday after confusing signals about monetary policy in Japan.

"The kiwi-US (dollar cross-rate) is well within the recent ranges," Dan Bell, currency strategist at HiFX, says.

The kiwi could rise against the Australian dollar if the unemployment rate across the Tasman is more than the expected 5.4 percent in December. The data is due at 1.30pm NZ time.

The market is not pricing in another rate cut from the Reserve Bank of Australia in February but if the jobless rate is worse than expected the chances of a rate cut increase.

"If we see worse-than-expected employment figures we will see the New Zealand-Aussie cross push up and probably break through 80 Australian cents," Mr Bell says.

It was at 79.49 Australian cents at 8am from 79.63 yesterday. HiFX expects the cross to trend higher in the next three months on interest rate differentials between the two countries.

The kiwi was at 74.39 yen from 74.02 yen yesterday. It was at 63.16 euro from 63.28 euro and at 52.46 British pence from 52.34.

The trade-weighted index was at 75.32 from 75.30.


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