Kiwi dollar up ahead of Trump speech




The New Zealand dollar has risen ahead of US President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address and Australian inflation data that's expected to validate expectations of a rate hike across the Tasman this year.

A mixture of New Zealand Bank notes and coins.

New Zealand currency (file picture).


Sentiment was helped by Standard & Poor's affirming New Zealand's 'AA' credit rating.

The kiwi increased to US73.30 cents as at 8.30am today in Wellington from US73.15c late Tuesday. The trade-weighted index advanced to 74.65 from 74.56.

Trump's speech to the Congress, titled "Building a safe, strong and proud America" is expected to set out his priorities for jobs, infrastructure, immigration, trade and national security and he may also give his view on the relative strength of the greenback.

Meanwhile, Australia's trimmed mean consumers price index is expected to have gained 1.8 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, unchanged from the third quarter rate and enough to keep on track expectations of a quarter-point rate hike from the Reserve Bank of Australia this year.

1 NEWS US Correspondent Rebecca Wright analyses what to expect.
Source: Breakfast

"The USD appears to be in some sort of consolidation mode over recent days, after the steady fall we've seen since mid-December," said BNZ currency strategist Jason Wong.

"With a 25 basis point rate hike by the RBA fully priced this year, the market will be sensitive to any downside surprise, as we saw with last week's NZ CPI figure."

Global ratings agency Standard & Poor's has affirmed New Zealand's 'AA' sovereign credit rating, saying the new government's plans to lift spending will be a bigger contributor to growth in the future, but are funded through cancelled tax cuts and won't undermine the outlook.

This morning, the kiwi traded at 90.70 Australian cents from A90.54c on Tuesday. It declined to 4.6325 yuan from 4.6331 yuan and fell to 51.81 British pence from 52.07p. It was little changed at 59.12 euro cents and traded at 79.75 yen from 79.78 yen.

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