The New Zealand dollar rose to an eight-month high against the yen after the nation’s central bank kept interest rates unchanged and said growth will quicken.
The so-called kiwi advanced for a fourth day versus the U.S. currency after Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler left the benchmark rate at 2.5 percent and said the outlook for New Zealand is stronger. Australia’s dollar strengthened to the strongest since March against the yen after data showed the nation unexpectedly added jobs last month.
“The statement from the RBNZ is less dovish than the market had anticipated, and that’s why we see a stronger New Zealand dollar,” said Yuki Sakasai, a foreign-exchange strategist in New York at Barclays Plc. “The market saw the slight possibility of a rate cut next year.”
New Zealand’s dollar touched 68.74 yen, the strongest since March 19, before trading at 68.52 as of 5 p.m. in New York. It rose 0.5 percent to 83.27 U.S. cents.
Australia’s dollar climbed 0.2 percent to 86.40 yen after reaching 86.58 yen, a level unseen since March 27. The currency rose 0.3 percent to at $1.0486.
New Zealand’s central bank decision was forecast by all 16 economists in a Bloomberg News survey.
The number of people employed in Australia increased by 13,900 in November, the statistics bureau said today, while economists in a Bloomberg survey had forecast the number would be unchanged. The unemployment rate fell to 5.2 percent from 5.4 percent in October.