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Monday June 11, 2007 - 10:27:13 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Kiwi tumbles 2 pct as RBNZ sells, little impact on yen

FOREX-Kiwi tumbles 2 pct as RBNZ sells, little impact on yen
Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:01 AM ET

(Updates price, adds quotes, changes byline)

By Natsuko Waki

LONDON, June 11 (Reuters) - The New Zealand dollar tumbled as much as 2 percent from a 22-year high versus the U.S. dollar on Monday after selling by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, but the impact on funding currencies such as the yen was limited.

The euro held near Friday's two-month low against the dollar, set after a rally in U.S. Treasury yields, although it pared losses after a hawkish comment from a European Central Bank policymaker.

The RBNZ intervention came four days after the central bank surprised markets by raising its key interest rate, which was already the highest in the industrialised world, to 8.0 percent.

Analysts say the intervention did increase the risk of popular carry trades, but the limited effect on funding currencies suggested that it had not triggered a broad-based unwinding of carry trades.

"The RBNZ did the intervention when liquidity was very low and whether they are prepared to do it in a stronger market when there is more money in play is not clear," said Martin McMahon, FX strategist at Credit Suisse in Zurich.

"Maybe the market is not convinced that the whole carry trade story is unravelling. It will take more than one temporary one-off intervention for investors to realise that carry trades are no longer a one way street."

RBNZ selling helped to drive the New Zealand dollar down to US$0.7482 , down more than 2 percent from Friday's peak of US$0.7638 -- which was the kiwi's strongest since it was floated 22 years ago.

The kiwi was on track for its biggest one day loss since March 2006.

The Australian dollar slipped versus the greenback and the yen in sympathy with the kiwi. Australia was closed for a national holiday.

The euro was down 0.2 percent at $1.3343 , closing in on a two-month low around $1.3320 set on Friday, when the dollar had rallied as the benchmark U.S. Treasury yield jumped to its highest level in around five years .

The euro was down a quarter percent at 162.33 yen while the dollar was steady at 121.64 yen .

The euro pared losses after European Central Bank Governing Council member Nout Wellink told Market News International that the ECB has not yet reached the peak of its interest rate cycle.

ECB Governing Council member John Hurley said the central bank will act as needed to head off inflation risks.

The ECB raised rates to 4.0 percent last week and is expected to hike at least once more by the end of this year.


Analysts say still buoyant risk appetite, supported by gains in Japanese, Chinese and European shares, could mean buyers dip their toe back into the New Zealand dollar, barring any further action from the central bank.

But some say other central banks could follow the RBNZ in buying U.S. dollars.

"This (intervention) makes the RBNZ the first, but quite possibly not the last, developed market central bank to put itself on the other side of the price to emerging market central banks (generally USD sellers against developed market FX)," HBOS Treasury Services said in a note to clients.

In the absence of major data from the euro zone or the United States, investors are eyeing comments from ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet and Chicago Fed President Michael Moskow who are due to speak later at separate events.

© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.


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