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NZ Dollar Rises As Asian Markets Traded In Positive Territory

The New Zealand dollar strengthened against other major currencies in the Asian session on Thursday, as Asian stock markets traded in positive territory. This followed the overnight gains on Wall Street after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony before Congress indicated that the central bank will gradually tighten policy and also reduce the size of its $4.5 trillion balance sheet. Also, higher commodity prices lifted resources stocks.

The crude oil futures rose above $45 a barrel on Wednesday, as U.S. crude oil inventories last week dropped the most in ten months.

In other economic news, data from the General Administration of Customs showed that China's exports increased at a faster-than-expected pace in June.

Similarly, imports surged 17.2 percent in June from a year ago, bigger than the expected growth of 14.5 percent.

In dollar terms, exports grew 11.3 percent year-over-year in June, faster than the 8.9 percent rise economists had forecast.

The trade surplus totaled $42.8 billion in June versus the expected surplus of $42.6 billion.

Data from ANZ Bank showed that the consumer confidence in New Zealand slowed in July. The bank's consumer confidence index fell 1.9 percent on month to a score of 125.4.

Data from Statistics New Zealand showed that food prices in New Zealand were up an unadjusted 0.2 percent on month in June. Seasonally adjusted, food prices slid 0.3 percent. On a yearly basis, food prices climbed 3.0 percent after rising 3.1 percent in the previous month.

Data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand showed that New Zealand's house prices increased in June from a year ago, while the volume of sales plunged. The national median house price index rose 5.8 percent year-over-year to NZ$529,000 in June. However, median prices dropped 1.0 percent, month-on-month.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, national median prices grew 6.3 percent in June from a year ago.

Wednesday, the NZ dollar showed mixed trading against its major rivals. While the kiwi fell against the euro, the yen, and the Australian dollar, it rose against the U.S. dollar.

In the Asian trading, the NZ dollar rose to a 6-day high of 0.7297 against the U.S. dollar, from yesterday's closing value of 0.7259. The kiwi may test resistance around the 0.74 region.

Against the yen, the euro, and the Australian dollar, the kiwi advanced to 2-day highs of 82.42, 1.5671 and 1.0546 from yesterday's closing quotes of 82.14, 1.5719 and 1.0574, respectively. If the kiwi extends its uptrend, it is likely to find resistance around 84.00 against the yen, 1.52 against the euro and 1.03 against the aussie.

Looking ahead, Swiss PPI for June is due to be released at 3:15 am ET.

In the New York session, Canada new housing price index for May, U.S. PPI for June and U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended July 8 are slated for release.

At 10:00 am ET, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is expected to testify on the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report before the Senate Banking Committee, in Washington DC.

At 11:30 am ET, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans is expected to speak about the economy and monetary policy at the Annual Rocky Mountain Economic Summit in Idaho, U.S.

At 1:00 pm ET, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard is scheduled to speak about monetary policy at the National Bureau of Economic Research, in Massachusetts.

At 2:00 pm ET, U.S. Federal monthly budget statement is slated to publish.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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