NZ Dollar Gains After Retail Sales Surpass Expectations

The New Zealand dollar gained against all other most-traded currencies today. While the mild risk appetite on markets was helping the currency, the major driver for the currency was amazing domestic retail sales data that surpassed expectations by a wide margin. Currently, the kiwi has trimmed gains, trading about flat against many of its rivals.
Statistics New Zealand reported that the total volume of retail sales climbed by 1.6% in the September quarter following the meager increase of 0.2% in the previous three months. The actual increase was far bigger than a 0.5% gain predicted by analysts. Core retail sales (which exclude automobiles and gas stations) rose by 1.8% versus the predicted increase of 0.6% and the previous quarter’s increase of 0.3%. Eleven of 15 industries demonstrated gains. The biggest contributor were electrical and electronic goods, which rose by 4.4% following the strong increase of 5.2% in the previous quarter. Department stores demonstrated the second-best performance, logging a 3.5% increase in sales that followed the 3.1% drop in the previous quarter. Accommodation logged the biggest decline, falling by 1.4% following the 1.6% increase in the June quarter.
Specialists argued that extremely positive data allows the Reserve Bank of New Zealand more flexibility in its monetary policy decisions. The RBNZ shocked traders two weeks ago, preferring to keep interest rates on hold, while markets were pricing in a rate cut.
NZD/USD was flat at 0.6417 as of 11:20 GMT today. EUR/NZD was little changed at 1.7163. NZD/JPY was about unchanged at 69.91. NZD/CAD edged up from 0.8532 to 0.8542.

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