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New Zealand Employment Grows By 0.1% in Q4; NZD/USD Neutral

New Zealand Employment Grows By 0.1% in Q4; NZD/USD Neutral

Tzu-Wen Chen, Technical Strategist

THE TAKEAWAY: [Employment in New Zealand grows by 0.1% in Q4 2011] > [Unemployment drops by 0.3% to 6.3%] > [NZD neutral]

Employment grew by only 0.1 percent in the last quarter of 2011, after expanding by 0.2 percent during the third quarter. This figure fell short of expectations, as the median forecast according to a Bloomberg News survey showed an expected quarterly rise of 0.4 percent. Employment rose by 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, though this too, fell short of the expected 1.9 percent growth.

On the other hand, the unemployment rate in the fourth quarter unexpectedly dropped by 0.3 percent to 6.3 percent, beating forecasts for a 6.5 percent result.

NZD/USD 1-minute Chart: February 8, 2012

NZ_Employment_Grows_by_0.1_Percent_in_Q4_body_Picture_1.png, New Zealand Employment Grows By 0.1% in Q4; NZD/USD Neutral

Chart created using Strategy Trader Prepared by Tzu-Wen Chen

In the minutes immediately after the employment change data release, the New Zealand dollar spiked against the U.S. dollar, jumping 24 basis points to 0.8375. However, the markets quickly corrected to levels similar to those seen before the data release, as investors took on a neutral stance on the latest data. A stronger job growth of 0.4 percent or higher would likely have bolstered the NZD as this would have raised prospects for a rate hike.

--- Written by Tzu-Wen Chen DailyFX Research

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.