The New Zealand Dollar was again very well bid on Thursday, vying for top spot with the British Pound. During the Asian morning, NZD/USD had fallen below USD0.7250 but from there it was a pretty much uninterrupted journey back on to a US 73 cents handle early in the European afternoon. It didn’t quite breach the 2018 high of USD0.7330 seen on Wednesday, but did get to within almost 10 pips of that peak. Overnight in Asia it has eased back into the high 72’s.
In local economic data today, the seasonally adjusted PMI for December was 51.2 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was 6.5 points down from the previous month, and the lowest result since December 2012. Despite the drop from November, the sector has remained in expansion in all months since October 2012. Christmas and the general holiday season were mentioned for those who provided both positive and negative comments, along with weather conditions.
Separate figures from the REINZ, showed median house prices across New Zealand rose by 5.8% in 2017 to $550,000; up from $520,000 in December 2016. Median prices for New Zealand excluding Auckland increased by 6.6% to $450,000 whilst Auckland’s median house price increased to $870,000 from $855,000 in December 2016. 13 out of 16 regions saw prices increase in December, with three of those regions experiencing record prices; Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Wellington. As REINZ also noted, “When looking at the Auckland picture, this is the first time that all seven districts have had a median price of in excess of $700,000 highlighting how expensive the city is becoming”.
The Kiwi Dollar opens in Europe this morning at USD0.7285 with AUD/NZD at 1.0990 and GBP/NZD1.9065.