Kiwi Holds Weaker In Asia After Wages Data, Dollar Index Down
The kiwi fell further on Wednesday after mixed jobs data from Wellington hit sentiment on wage gains after mixed jobs data with markets also noting a weaker dollar.
NZD/USD traded at 0.7307, down 0.45%. New Zealand reported fourth quarter labor cost index data with a 0.4% gain on quarter, compared to a 0.5% rise seen, and at a 1.9% pace on year as
seen. As well, the unemployment rate fell to 4.5%, compared to an expected 4.7% and down 4.6% previously under a participation rate at 71.00%.
USD/JPY changed hands at 109.32, down 0.21%, while AUD/USD traded at 0.7883, down 0.28%. In Japan, average cash earnings for December came in at a 0.7% rise as expected, down from 0.9% previously.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell 0.07% to 89.46.
Overnight, the dollar retreated from highs against a basket of major currencies amid mostly bearish economic data and dovish comments from St. Louis Federal Reserve president James
Bullard who attempted to curb expectations that rising wage growth would spur faster inflation, warning that nominal wages were not a good predictor of inflation. Bullard also said that that he favors low rates for an extended period, and expected that the Fed's dot plot may be less useful.
A pair of economic reports on the labour market and trade fell short of expectations, weighing on the dollar, and reminded investors that there is some sluggishness remains in the economy.
The U.S. Labor Department's latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTs) report, a measure of labor demand, showed job openings in December fell to about 5.81m, short of
expectations for 5.96m.
The trade deficit — which measures the gap between what the United States imports and what it exports — widened to $53.1 billion in December, up $2.7 billion from November.