Tuesday morning in Asia, the New Zealand dollar slipped against the aussie, but it edged higher against the currencies of US, Japan and Europe.

New Zealand share market opened weaker today, following a negative overnight lead from the Wall Street where U.S. stocks closed lower after disappointing auto sector news results prompted a sell-off.

The benchmark NZX 50 index was down 35.04 points or 1.33% to 2,606.94 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader All Capital index fell 37.62 points or 1.40% to 2,647.00.

The weakness in the markets came as investors responded to disappointing news regarding the auto industry as well as renewed concerns about the outlook for the financial sector. Some traders also looked to cash in on the gains seen in the three previous weeks.

Much of the selling pressure came as President Obama and his auto task force indicated that General Motors (GM) and Chrysler have not gone far enough in their restructuring plans and need to step up their efforts to reorganize in order to receive additional government aid.

While the administration will continue to provide operating funds for the next few weeks, it has given both GM and Chrysler a final deadline, threatening bankruptcy if the beleaguered auto giants do not significantly increase their efforts to restructure their business.

In economic news, the National Bank of New Zealand said today that a net 39.3 percent expect deterioration in business conditions over the year ahead, compared with a net 41 percent in February. A net 21 percent are expecting tougher times for their own business over the year ahead, slightly off December's record low reading of minus 22.

The New Zealand dollar, which closed yesterday's trading at 54.85 against the yen strengthened to 55.77 in early Asian deals on Tuesday. The next upside target level for the NZ currency is seen at 56.4.

The yen slumped today after a report showed that Japan's unemployment rate jumped to a 3-year high in February. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said that Japan's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 4.4% in February, slightly higher than forecasts for a 4.3 percent increase after the 4.1 percent gain in January.

During early Asian deals on Tuesday, the New Zealand dollar gained ground against the US currency. At about 10:15 pm ET, the kiwi-greenback pair reached 0.5681, up from Monday's close of 0.5638. The near term resistance level for the pair is seen at 0.572.

The New Zealand dollar advanced to 2.3301 against the euro during early Asian deals on Tuesday. If the kiwi climbs further, it may test near term resistance around the 2.326 level. The euro-kiwi pair was worth 2.3429 at yesterday's North American session close.

In early Asian deals on Tuesday, the New Zealand dollar declined against the aussie and hit a low of 1.2155 at 9:50 pm ET. This may be compared to yesterday's close of 1.2103. On the downside, 1.221 is seen as the next target level for the kiwi.

The Reserve Bank of Australia's financial aggregates data for February showed that credit issued to the private sector in Australia was up 5.4% on year in February, while credit issued was steady with a 0.5% gain on month.

Looking ahead, Japan's housing starts for February and the small business confidence report for March are expected at 1:00 am ET.

In the European session, German February ILO unemployment rate, French February housing starts, Italian January retail sales and CPI for March, Euro-zone CPI estimate for March are slated for release.

Across the Atlantic, today will be a busy day with the releases of the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for January, Chicago PMI for March and the consumer confidence report for March.

Also, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Plosser is scheduled to deliver a speech on regulatory reform to the University of Chicago Booth School of Business at 1 pm ET.

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