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New Zealand Dollar Drops on Central Bank Intervention

The New Zealand dollar tumbled from a 22-year high versus the U.S. dollar on Monday after
selling by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand raised concerns about how much longer carry trades would continue.

The dollar was little changed against the euro and the yen, holding onto gains versus the euro after hitting a two-month high late last week when the benchmark U.S. Treasury yield jumped to its highest level in around five years.

The New Zealand currency fell 1.5% against the U.S. dollar. RBNZ Governor Alan Bollard confirmed the intervention, adding that the central bank regarded current levels as "exceptional and unjustified in terms of economic fundamentals."

Analysts said that market participants may consider the New Zealand currency's losses as a sign that the carry trade, in which investors use low-yielding currencies such as the yen to
pick up assets in high-yielding ones, may have gone too far.

"It may impact other high-yielding currencies by unnerving investors conducting carry trade who have become wary of rising interest rates worldwide," said Koji Fukaya, senior currency
strategist at Deutsche Bank.

He added that an unwinding of such positions may prompt short covering in the yen, which in the past few years has been the biggest loser in the carry trade.

RBNZ selling helped to drive the New Zealand dollar down to US$0.7514, sharply lower than $0.7640 hit late last week for the first time in 22 years since the central bank floated the currency.

It dropped around 1.7% to 91.41 yen, dropping from a 17-year high just below 93 yen hit on Friday.

The Australian dollar slipped in sympathy with its New Zealand counterpart, falling roughly half a percent against the U.S. dollar and the yen .

Australian markets were closed for a national holiday on Monday.