The New Zealand dollar fell below 67 U.S. cents for the first time in five years on Thursday, extending its decline against a broadly firmer greenback as a slide in dairy prices narrowed the odds on more rates cuts.
It also slumped to a near two-year low against its Australian peer, which climbed as far as NZ$1.1413.
The latest move came after a fortnightly auction held by Fonterra saw average dairy prices fall 5.9 percent. That marked the eighth consecutive decline and took average selling prices to their weakest since July 2009.
“There is little on the horizon to suggest there will be a meaningful turnaround in international powder prices anytime soon,” analysts at ANZ wrote in a research note.
“It is now clear that additional RBNZ monetary policy action (above and beyond previous expectations) is warranted,” they said, adding they expect the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to take the cash rate back to 2.5 percent, from 3.25 percent currently.
The RBNZ lowered rates last month by 25 basis points and is considered almost certain to follow up with another cut later this month.
New Zealand government bond yields were mostly lower, led by the short-end which tends to be more sensitive to changes in rate views.
The kiwi last traded at $0.6710, having earlier plumbed $0.6694. It has shed 13 percent in two short months.
The kiwi has been under pressure from growing signs of a slowing economy, deteriorating terms of trade driven by falling dairy prices, and weakening business and consumer confidence.
Near-term support was seen at $0.6675, with sellers emerging at $0.6750. Whether the kiwi breaks lower depends on U.S. nonfarm payrolls due later in the day.
An outcome that reinforces the view that the Federal Reserve can hike interest rates later in the year should underpin the greenback and drive the kiwi lower.
Given that risk, the Australian dollar also struggled to make any headway on its U.S. peer. It was a touch softer at $0.7644, nursing Wednesday’s 0.8 percent fall.
The Aussie has been pretty much drifting sideways since hitting a six-year low of $0.7534 in early April.
Australian government bond futures tracked U.S. Treasuries lower. The three-year contract was 5 ticks lower at 97.890, while the 10-year contract fell 8.5 ticks to 96.8600.