Forex — Kiwi Moves Lower After Downbeat N.Z. Data, Aussie Holds Steady

Kiwi loses ground, Aussie holds steady vs. greenback in late trade — The New Zealand dollar moved lower against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday, while the Australian dollar held steady after the release of downbeat New Zealand business confidence data and amid fresh geopolitical concerns.

NZD/USD dropped 0.49% to trade at 0.7239, the lowest since September 15.

Earlier Tuesday, data showed that New Zealand’s ANZ business confidence index fell to zero this month from 18.3 in August.

The data came after no single party won a majority New Zealand’s elections over the weekend.

The ruling National Party won the largest number votes, but neither of the major parties won enough seats to gain a majority in parliament, forcing a round of coalition talks that could last days or weeks.

Separately, investors remained cautious after North Korea’s foreign minister Ri Yong Ho said on Monday that President Donald Trump had declared war on the country and that Pyongyang reserved the right to shoot down U.S. bombers, even if they are not in its air space.

AUD/USD was little changed at 0.7935.

The greenback had strengthened after New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley on Monday said the Fed is on track to gradually raise interest rates given factors depressing inflation are «fading» and the U.S. economy’s fundamentals are sound.

“I expect inflation will rise and stabilize around the (Fed’s) 2% objective over the medium term,» he said before adding that «in response, the Federal Reserve will likely continue to remove monetary policy accommodation gradually.»

However, Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said the U.S. central bank should wait until there are clear signs that income and prices are rising before raising interest rates again, warning that moving too fast would be a policy “misstep.”

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, wassteady at 92.43 by 02:05 a.m. ET (06:05 GMT), just off the previous session’s one-week high of 92.52.

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