The New Zealand 10-year bond yields hit lowest since the United States Presidential election following global weak risk appetite. Also, safe-haven demand boosted after U.S. President Donald Trump said that he favors low interest rates.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to its price, slumped 7-1/2 basis points to 2.96 percent, the yield on 5-year note plunged nearly 1 basis point to 2.36 percent and the yield on short-term 2-year traded nearly 1 basis point lower at 2.09 percent by 04:50 GMT.
The country's food prices fell in March as fruit and vegetable prices were weighed down by a sharp fall in the prices of apples and carrots. The food price index declined a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent last month, and was 1.3 percent higher than in March 2016, Statistics New Zealand said. On an unadjusted basis, food prices fell 0.3 percent on the month.
Fruit and vegetable prices fell a seasonally adjusted 2 percent while grocery food prices, which account for more than a third of the index, rose 0.2 percent on the month, Statistics NZ said.
On the other hand, New Zealand's manufacturing activity rose to its highest level in 14 months in March as a jump in new orders underpinned production, while a robust building sector continues to drive the country's economy.
The Bank of New Zealand-BusinessNZ performance of manufacturing index rose to a seasonally adjusted 57.8 in March from 55.7 in February, and was up from 53.4 a year earlier.
“I do like a low-interest rate policy,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal. Trump also said he likes and respects Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, whose term ends in 2018, although he was critical of her during his presidential campaign, Reuters reported.
Trump's views on the Fed and interest rates, as well as the dollar, came as bonds had traded earlier in a tight range with safe-haven demand tied to international political worries offsetting investor sales to make room for this week's $56 billion in coupon-bearing Treasuries supply, they added.
On the other hand, the Fed officials have signaled the U.S. central bank may raise interest rates twice more by the end of 2017.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index closed 0.13 percent lower at 7,240.93, while at 05:00 GMT, the FxWirePro's Hourly NZD Strength Index remained neutral at 14.52 (a reading above +75 indicates a bullish trend, while that below -75 a bearish trend). For more details, visit http://www.fxwirepro.com/currencyindex
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