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NZ Dollar Drops Below US53c, Lowest In Nearly Six Years

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Nov 21 NZPA - As recession fears shook world markets, the New Zealand dollar dropped below US53c for the first time in nearly six years.

The United States dollar and yen rose against the euro and currencies from countries with high interest rates, as fears of a deep global recession sent investors fleeing for the safest assets.

The Swiss franc also fell sharply after the Swiss National Bank unexpectedly slashed interest rates by a full percentage point, citing worsening economic conditions.

With anxiety about economic growth on the rise, investors continued yanking money out of risky assets such as stocks, commodities and high-yield currencies and parking it in US government bonds or the Japanese yen.

Oil fell below $US50 a barrel, its lowest since May 2005, while the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits spiked to a 16-year high of 542,000 last week.

Overnight the kiwi dropped to around US52.80c, from US54.09c at 5pm yesterday, before crawling back to US53.16c by 8am today.

The NZ dollar also dropped to around 50 yen, but remained above seven-year lows reached against the Japanese currencies last month.

By today's local open the kiwi was at 50.88 yen from 51.70 at 5pm.

The kiwi was little changed against the euro at 0.4240 by 8am, while it firmed against the Australian dollar to A85.79c from A84.78c.

The trade weighted index was down to 54.83 at 8am from 55.51 at 5pm.

NZPA WGT Reuters mjd kn

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