NZ dollar steady as Trump scraps North Korea summit, UK retail sales jump

The kiwi traded at 59.12 euro cents from 59.14 cents yesterday. Photo: Lynn Grieveson

The New Zealand dollar was little changed against the greenback after US President Donald Trump scrapped a planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the US said it was considering tariffs on imports of cars and trucks.

The kiwi dollar traded at 69.29 US cents as at 8am in Wellington from 69.25 cents late yesterday. The trade-weighted index was at 72.64 from 72.68.

Stocks on Wall Street fell while Treasuries and gold rose after Trump scrapped what would have been the first meeting between leaders of the two nations, citing "open hostility" expressed by the North Korean leader in a recent statement. Trump said the US military was ready to respond to any reckless acts. Separately the US said it was looking at tariffs on cars and trucks on the basis of national security, a move that may exacerbate global trade tensions.

"Guess we can now add US-North Korea tensions into the mix of news over coming months, but the market is learning not to overreact to any apparent hostilities," said Jason Wong, currency strategist at Bank of New Zealand. "Overnight market moves have been fairly modest, with a hint of USD weakness, slightly weaker equity markets and further downside pressure on global rates."

The kiwi dollar traded at 51.77 British pence from 51.79 pence after figures showed UK retail sales excluding autos and fuel climbed 1.5 percent in April, versus expectations of an increase of just 0.1 percent. There have also been media reports that UK Prime Minister Theresa May plans to ask the European Union for a second transition period for Brexit, a report her government later denied.

There is no local economic data scheduled today.

The kiwi traded at 59.12 euro cents from 59.14 cents yesterday and at 91.41 Australian cents from 91.47 cents. It fell to 4.4177 yuan from 4.4255 yuan and decreased to 75.74 yen from 75.81 yen.