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Kiwi falls as job figures spook investors

Reported by AAP
Thursday, February 7, 2013
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The New Zealand dollar fell after a drop in the headline unemployment rate masked underlying figures showing a weak labour market.

Thursday's jobs data spooked investors who have been upbeat about the local economic recovery.

The kiwi fell to 83.52 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 84.17 cents at 8am and 84.45 cents on Wednesday. The trade-weighted index dropped to 75.68 from 76.38 on Wednesday.

New Zealand's unemployment rate fell to 6.9 per cent in the December quarter from a 13-year high in the September period, as an increasing number of people left the labour force.

The workforce participation rate fell to 67.2 per cent of the working age population, its lowest level in almost nine years and employment shrank one per cent in the three months ended December 31.

Economists had been expecting perkier numbers as businesses ramp up hiring for the Canterbury rebuild.

"The market was in the mood to play up the negatives in the employment release and that took the gloss off the currency," said Mike Jones, currency strategist at Bank of New Zealand in Wellington.

"The labour market numbers provided food for thought for the kiwi dollar."

The local figures came out before Australian employment data, which showed the unemployment rate held at 5.4 per cent as the number of jobs grew by 10,400 in December.

While the headline figure is better in Australia its participation rate of 65 per cent is below New Zealand's.

The kiwi dollar fell to 80.99 Australian cents from 81.55 cents on Wednesday.

The kiwi dropped to 77.99 yen from 79.20 yen on Wednesday, and declined to 61.84 euro cents from 62.20 cents.

22/08/2014 19:49Sydney, Australia. 22 August,2014
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