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New Zealand dollar dips 0.5% after unexpected Q2 employment fall

The New Zealand dollar fell half a per cent against its US counterpart on Wednesday after second-quarter employment came in lower than expected.

The kiwi dollar was hovering around $0.7428, the lowest level in a week after the release of employment figures from Statistics New Zealand.

The data for Q2 showed the overall unemployment rate at 4.8 per cent, in line with expectations. However, they also showed a quarter-on-quarter fall in employment of 0.2 per cent where a median forecast from economists surveyed by Reuters had predicted a 0.7 per cent increase.

Year-on-year growth in employment slowed to 3.1 per cent in the quarter ended June from 5.7 per cent in the first three months of 2017, while the labour participation rate dipped 0.6 percentage points to 70 per cent compared to the previous quarter. A median forecast had predicted a marginal rise to 70.7 per cent.

The US dollar index measuring the greenback against a basket of peers was basically flat at 93.032 in morning Asia trade.