The NZ dollar bucked the risk-off trend over the last few days. Cautious investors offloaded equities and other "risky" assets in response to the Beetlegate scandal at Volkswagen, the ongoing softness in the Chinese economy and continued downward pressure on commodity prices. The Australian dollar and the South African rand both lost ground to sterling but the Kiwi headed in the opposite direction. It strengthened by 2% against the Aussie and by 1.7% against sterling, though it was down by a third of a US cent.
NZ ecostats were typically thin on the ground. The only ones that really mattered were for the balance of trade. Imports and exports were both higher than expected in August but so was the trade deficit. However, there was good news from the big dairy cooperative Fonterra: It announced a higher payout to farmers, reinforcing the impression that milk prices have turned a corner.