NZ dollar tumbles below 84 cents on weak data, falling stocks

The New Zealand dollar extended its slide, falling below 84 US cents as financial markets digested the implications of weaker-than-expected Chinese growth which has weighed on equity markets and commodities.

The kiwi dollar fell to 83.91 US cents from 85.05 cents at 5pm in Wellington yesterday. The trade-weighted index fell to 77.27 from 78.16.

China’s economic growth slowed to 7.7 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, missing expectations of an 8 percent expansion. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was recently down 2.3 percent while spot gold extended its decline after the US Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index fell more than expected to 3.1 in April, from 9.2 in March and US homebuilder confidence waned.

“Risk aversion set in for a second day, intensifying with disappointing economic data,” said Imre Speizer, senior markets strategist at Westpac Banking Corp.

The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Commodity Index was last down 2.2 percent. Further rattling confidence are reports of multiple explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, with two dead and 23 injured. For today, traders will be watching for the minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s last policy meeting.

The kiwi fell to 64.43 euro cents from 65.02 cents and was little changed at 81.41 Australian cents. It slipped to 54.96 British pence from 55.48 pence and weakened to 81.26 yen from 83.24 yen.

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