NZ dollar falls as Euro chiefs defer Greece decision

By Paul McBeth

Nov. 21 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar fell after European finance ministers failed to reach agreement on the next cash top-up for heavily indebted Greece, spooking investors who were optimistic an accord would be reached.

The kiwi fell to 81.30 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 81.56 cents at 8am and down from 81.86 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index fell to 73.19 from 73.44 yesterday.

European finance chiefs left a meeting lasting more than 10 hours in Brussels without settling on an agreed way for Greece to get its next round of bail-out funding, dashing hopes the Mediterranean nation had done enough to sway them. The finance ministers cancelled a scheduled press conference and get back to the table on Monday.

"Surprise, surprise - the European finance ministers didn't solve all of the problems in the world," said Chris Tennent-Brown, FX economist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney. "The market was built up for something a little more exciting than that."

Traders were already backing away from the kiwi and Australian dollars after the RBA minutes for the Nov. 6 meeting showed the central bank may cut the target cash rate to reinvigorate a slowing economy.

"Traders took a little bit off the Australian dollar" after the RBA minutes and a lack of Australasian data kept things quiet today, said Michael Johnston, a trader at HiFX in Auckland. "The kiwi's drifting a little lower."

The kiwi dollar fell to 63.73 euro cents from 63.90 cents yesterday and fell to 51.06 British pence from 51.43 pence. It slipped to 78.51 Australian cents from 78.57 cents yesterday and was little changed at 66.54 yen from 66.50 yen.

(BusinessDesk)

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