Kiwi Drips Weaker After Trade Balance Data In Light Trading Day
The kiwi drifted weaker in Asia on Friday after trade balance data showed a wider gap than expected with the market light coming off a US holiday.
New Zealand reported a trade balance deficit of NZ$871 million in October, wider than the NZ$750 million expected, while it also widened to NZ$2.990 billion from NZ$2.2705 billion seen.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, eased 0.12% to 93.04.
Overnight, the U.S. dollar fell on Thursday as trade volumes were thin and markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The dollar remained lower amid minutes from the Federal Reserve’s November meeting that suggested officials were concerned that inflation would stay below the 2% target longer than expected. The sentiment was echoed by Fed Chair Janet Yellen in a speech earlier in the week, when she said she was uncertain about inflation.
The remarks weighed on the dollar, as investors lowered their expectations for further rate hikes in 2018. A rate hike in December is still expected.
The dollar was at two-month lows against the yen. Data on Thursday showed that euro-zone private sector output rose at the fastest pace in six-and-a-half years in November. In a separate report, the minutes of the European Central Bank’s October meeting showed that policymakers agreed about a decision to extend the duration of its asset purchase program, but were far from unanimous in keeping the scheme open-ended. Sterling was little changed against the dollar.