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90 seconds at 9 am: NZ$ hits 84.6 USc overnight, but eases back as US stocks fall on fiscal cliff worries; NZ$ up to 53.4p as Standard and Poor's warns may downgrade UK
Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news the New Zealand dollar hit a fresh 9 month high against the US dollar overnight of 84.6 USc as investors thought through the implications of the US Federal Reserve's plan to buy an extra US$45 billion a month of bonds for at least another 3 years.
This would further lower long term bond yields and widen the yield advantage of New Zealand bonds and other assets, making our currency relatively more attractive.
The New Zealand dollar has strengthened on a Trade Weighted Index basis to a five year high this week and is just 2.5% below its post-float record high of 76.88 set in July 2007.
The New Zealand dollar eased back in morning trade to around 84.3 USc as US stocks were down 0.6% in late trade on more talk of deadlocked negotiations over the fiscal cliff. See more here at Bloomberg.
This talk overshadowed better than expected US jobless and retail sales figures. See more here from Reuters.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand dollar firmed to 52.4 British pence after Standard and Poor's placed Britain's AAA foreign currency credit rating on review for possible downgrade. See more here at Reuters.
This weakened the British pound against various currencies.
Elsewhere, European leaders clinched a deal for common supervision of banks and UBS faces a US$1 billion for rigging LIBOR.
FYI this is my last 90 seconds at 9 am for this year and for ever. I am moving to Wellington and David Chaston will be doing 90 seconds at 9 am from now on. He returns next week for the last week of 90 at 9 for this year.
I hope you've enjoyed the last five years of 90 seconds at 9 am. I have. Best Christmas and New Year wishes to all.
(Updated with details and sign off)