The New Zealand dollar dropped to multi-day lows against its major opponents on Wednesday morning in Asia as New Zealand's consumer confidence index declined in the first quarter of 2009. The kiwi reached a 2-day low against the currencies of the U.S., Europe and Japan and a 6-day low against the Australian dollar.
A latest survey by Westpac Banking Corp. and McDermott Miller Ltd. released today showed that New Zealand's consumer confidence index fell to 96.0 in the first quarter from 101.3 in the fourth quarter.
The New Zealand stock market opened cautiously higher today, following a negative overnight lead from Wall Street where the U.S. shares closed lower as investors there booked profits made in the earlier session. The benchmark NZX 50 index was up 4.48 points or 0.17% to 2,639.81 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital Index added 4.10 points or 0.15% to 2,669.35.
Reversing yesterday's new multi-month high, the New Zealand dollar fell to a 2-day low of 54.64 against the Japanese yen by 9:15 pm Eastern Time. This may be compared to Tuesday's New York session closing value of 55.14. The kiwi-yen pair is presently trading at 54.9 with 53.4 seen as the next target level.
The yen gained ground after the Japanese Ministry of Finance said that Japan posted a merchandise trade balance of 82.4 billion yen in February. Analysts were expecting a 13.7 billion yen deficit following a 956.9 billion yen shortfall in January.
Exports plummeted by a record 49.9 percent on year, the data showed, while imports fell 43.0 percent on year to 3.443 trillion yen. Exports have fallen in five straight months, while imports are lower now in four straight months.
Later in the day, the Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Hirohide Yamaguchi will speak at a business meeting in Otaru City.
Pulling back from yesterday's 10-week high, the New Zealand dollar declined to 2.4068 against the euro by 10:35 pm ET. On the downside, the New Zealand currency is likely to test support near the 2.4105 level. The euro-kiwi pair that closed yesterday's deals at 2.3935 is currently quoted at 2.4030.
In the euro area, traders are awaiting the German IFO business sentiment survey report on current business conditions as well as the future expectations, in the upcoming session.
Additionally, the Italian consumer confidence report for March is slated for release at 4:30 AM ET. Analysts expect the headline figure to drop to 103.0 from 104.1 in February.
The New Zealand dollar extended its 2-day losing streak against the Australian currency in early Asian trading on Wednesday, slipping to 1.2448 by 10:35 pm Eastern Time. This set the lowest mark for the kiwi since March 19. The aussie-kiwi pair that was worth 1.2365 at Tuesday's New York session close is currently trading at 1.2426.
Against the US dollar, the New Zealand kiwi retreated from yesterday's 10-week high in early Asian deals on Wednesday. The kiwi fell to 0.5598 against the buck by 9:15 pm Eastern Time, compared to yesterday's close of 0.5633. The pair is presently trading near 0.56 with 0.545 seen as the next target level.
Focusing on the North American session, durable good orders and new home sales reports-both for the month of February are expected to be released in the early New York trading today. Also, the US Federal Resrve's Pianalto and Yellen are expected to deliver speeches in the afternoon.
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