NZ dollar falls as fears about slowing Chinese growth weigh on commodity prices

The kiwi declined to 67.45 US cents as at 830am in Wellington. Photo: Lynn Grieveson

The New Zealand dollar fell as growing fears of a slowing Chinese economy pushed down metal prices and weighed on currencies of nations producing raw materials.

The kiwi declined to 67.45 US cents as at 830am in Wellington from 67.82 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index decreased to 72.74 from 72.89.

The Thomson Reuters CRB commodity price index of 19 commonly traded raw materials fell 0.1 percent after reports that the People's Bank of China will use a medium-term lending facility to encourage banks to increase lending and buy corporate bonds, and take steps to cut borrowing costs for small businesses. Chinese authorities have been increasing interventions as the world's second-biggest economy deals with slower lending in its shadow banking sector and prepares for the fall-out from its trade war with the US.

"Commodity currencies are the worst performers on the day in FX, reflecting further falls in industrial metals prices and some concerns about slowing growth in China," Bank of New Zealand interest rate strategist Nick Smyth said in a note. "The NZD moved lower overnight, in sympathy with the moves in the CNY."

The kiwi traded at 4.5664 Chinese yuan from 4.5693 yuan yesterday.

Local data today include June migration and visitor arrival numbers, which are expected to show a slowing pace of net inbound migration.

Meantime, the greenback's gains were halted after US President Donald Trump told CNBC he wasn't happy with interest rate rises, which he said put the world's biggest economy at a disadvantage to nations with lower rates.

The kiwi rose to 91.66 Australian from 91.41 cents yesterday. Bureau of Statistics figures yesterday showed Australia added 50,900 jobs last month, more than the 17,000 forecast.

The local currency fell to 57.90 euro cents from 58.22 cents yesterday and traded at 51.80 British pence from 51.86 pence. It fell to 75.81 yen from 76.45 yen.