NZ dollar little changed before Greek, US fiscal cliff talks

By Paul McBeth

Nov. 26 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar was little changed in local trading as investors awaited a meeting on EU policymakers that would grant Greece its next round of financial aid and talks between US legislators to bridge the fiscal cliff of US$607 billion in spending cuts and tax hikes.

The kiwi traded at 82.40 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 82.28 cents this morning and unchanged from the Friday close in New York. The trade-weighted index was 73.73 from 73.68 last week.

European finance chiefs are set to resume talks on Monday in Brussels to try and forge agreement on securing the next tranche of rescue funds for Greece, which was forced to seek help after taking on too much debt. On the other side of the Atlantic, White House officials and Congress representatives will renew talks to try and prevent automatic spending cuts and tax increases coming into effect from Jan. 1.

A deal by the European finance chiefs "should be market friendly which would push the kiwi higher," said Imre Speizer, market strategist at Westpac Banking Corp in Auckland. "The Europeans don't want to throw big money, but they seem to be willing to throw a little money now, knowing it's gone for good, but they don't want it to blow up right now."

New Zealand's currency may gain this week, according to five of six strategist surveyed by BusinessDesk, trading in a range of 80.50 US cents to 83.50 cents.

Speizer, who is picking a gain, said he expects the kiwi will test the top side of the range.

Traders will watch the Reserve Bank's survey of expectations tomorrow to see where New Zealand financial institutions see inflation going.

The New Zealand dollar traded at 63.57 euro cents from 63.49 cents last week and increased to 51.42 British pence from 51.36 pence. The kiwi was unchanged at 78.74 Australian cents and traded at 67.77 yen from 67.85 yen.

(BusinessDesk)

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