The New Zealand dollar may fall this week as growing Middle East tensions weigh on investor confidence.
The kiwi increased to 86.84 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 86.68 at 8am and 86.66 cents at 5pm in Wellington on Friday. The trade-weighted index edged up to 80.85 from 80.68 last week.
Investors have sought relatively safe assets, lifting the price of gold to a three-week high, as increasing violence in Iraq has markets nervous OPEC’s second biggest producer of crude oil may plunge deeper into conflict.
“The kiwi will remain elevated, but I think the risk-off trade will be more of a problem in the market” as investors are spooked by the rising Middle East tensions, said Martin Rudings, senior advisor at OMF.
“The market is already long on New Zealand dollars so it’ll be like a fire in a cinema, the first one out the door or a rush for the exit, so I am a wee bit wary, and I certainly wouldn’t be buying kiwi dollars up at these levels with what’s going on.”
Government data on Thursday is expected to show the economy grew 1.2 per cent in the first quarter of the year, from a 0.9 per cent pace in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to economists polled by Reuters.
“We’re expecting a good number from GDP, even if it is slightly less than what’s expected, it is still probably a pretty strong number compared to most other countries around the world,” said Mr Rudings.
The kiwi rose to 92.31 Australian cents at 5pm in Wellington from 91.99 cents on Friday, was almost unchanged at 88.32 yen from 88.31 yen and advanced to 64.09 euro cents from 63.92 cents.