THE kiwi fell to 82.74 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 83.06 cents at 8am and 83.22 cents on Wednesday. The trade-weighted index declined to 78.61 from 78.86 on Wednesday.
Chinese manufacturing activity shrank this month, according to the preliminary reading of the Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index, raising fears about the strength of the nation’s economy and weighing on the prospects for New Zealand and Australian trade.
The Chinese data added to weakness in the kiwi dollar after a Wall Street Journal report that the Federal Reserve would trim another $US10 billion ($NZ12b) from its monthly asset purchases to $US65 billion at next week’s policy meeting.
“The Chinese manufacturing PMI flash from HSBC was a lot worse than expected,” said Stuart Ive, senior client adviser at OMF in Wellington.
The kiwi rose to 94.03 Australian cents from 93.81 cents on Wednesday with the Chinese data weighing more heavily on Australia’s currency, as China is that country’s largest export market.
Traders are waiting for New Zealand’s Reserve Bank to review monetary policy next week. They continue to price in a 46 per cent chance governor Graeme Wheeler will lift the official cash rate from its record-low 2.5 per cent.
The local currency dropped to 61.06 euro cents from 61.31 cents on Wednesday and to 86.37 yen from 86.54 yen.