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MARKET COMMENTARIES

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7285 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZDUSD looks set to retest 0.7300 as once again US economic data fell short of economists’ estimates.

Friday evening’s US economic data releases disappointed with new home sales, flash manufacturing PMI and flash services PMI all failing to reach economists’ forecasts. New home sales climbed by 2.9% to an annual rate of 610K well below the expected 5.4% spike while manufacturing PMI and services PMI both slowed in June with the index’s dipping to 52.1 and 53.0 from 52.7 and 53.6 respectively.

Earlier in the evening Euro-zone private sector growth eased in June after posting a six-year-high in May with a slowdown in services activity leading the way. The pace of growth in Germany's private sector was the weakest since February with the index dipping to 53.7 from 55.4 in May. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 56.2.

There is little in the way of local economic data going into month/quarter end with direction likely to be driven by a string of speeches from several Central Bank Governors and offshore data releases.

Global equity markets closed out the week mixed - Dow -0.01%, S&P 500 +0.15%, FTSE -0.20%, DAX -0.47%, CAC -0.30%, Nikkei +0.11%, Shanghai +0.33%.

Gold prices rallied 0.5% on Friday closing out the week flat at $1,256 an ounce. .WTI Crude Oil prices edged higher on Friday recovering to $43.01 a barrel after setting a new yearly low of $42.05 earlier in the week.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7285 0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9628 0.0%
NZDEUR 0.6501 -0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5718 -0.1%
NZDJPY 81.02 0.3%
AUDUSD 0.7565 0.4%
AUDGBP 0.5938 -0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6757 0.0%
AUDJPY 84.12 0.3%
AUDNZD 1.0387 0.1%

The NZDUSD opens higher at 0.7261 this morning.

The NZD made gains across the board yesterday after the RBNZ gave a relatively upbeat assessment of the NZ economy and outlook at its Official Cash Rate meeting. The OCR remained at 1.75%, as universally expected, the RBNZ said house price inflation had moderated, inflation would get into the middle of its target bank in the medium term, they would prefer a lower NZD, and that rates interest rate would remain unchanged for a “considerable period”.

The NZDAUD rose to a 5 month high of 0.9635 post the RBNZ OCR decision.

The USD was little changed against most currencies overnight as US jobless claims and home prices releases’ were in-line with expectations.

Interestingly, longer term US interest rates fell (yield curve flattened) which can be interpreted as the market being sceptical that the current pace of US economic growth justifies further rate increases.

There was little else of note during the overnight session.

Global equity markets were mixed on the day – Dow +0.0%, Nikkei -0.1%, Shanghai -0.3%, FTSE -0.1%.

Gold prices gained 0.4% to USD$1,250.60 an ounce. Oil prices (WTI) rose 0.2% to USD$42.77 per barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7261 0.5%
NZDAUD 0.9631 0.7%
NZDEUR 0.6511 0.6%
NZDGBP 0.5723 0.3%
NZDJPY 80.78 0.4%
AUDUSD 0.7638 -0.3%
AUDGBP 0.5942 -0.4%
AUDEUR 0.6760 -0.1%
AUDJPY 83.87 -0.3%
AUDNZD 1.0381 -0.7%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7225 (mid-rate) this morning.

A further fall in oil prices despite a sharp drop in U.S. oil stockpiles has seen the NZD along with other commodity-linked currencies underperform against the majors.

Overnight US crude oil inventories declined by 2.5 million barrels in the week to June 16, the fall in stockpiles was far greater than analysts’ expectations of a 1.2 million barrel decrease. Despite the data crude oil prices are now at a 10 moth low as U.S. oil companies continue adding rigs and Libya boosts output, blunting OPEC-led efforts to re-balance an oversupplied market.

Overnight existing home sales in the US unexpectedly rose during the month of May with the National Association of Realtors report showing existing home sales rose by 1.1% to an annual rate of 5.62M in May after plummeting by 2.5% to a downwardly revised 5.56M in April. Economists had predicted home sales to fall to an annual rate of 5.54M in May from the previously reported 5.57M in April.

The GBP has rallied overnight after Bank of England (BoE) Chief Economist Andrew Haldane was quoted as saying the central bank “should normalize monetary policy well ahead of current market expectations”, and that it “would be prudent” to remove the record-low interest rate in the second-half of 2017. The comments suggest there is a growing rift within the BOE with BOE Gov Mark Carney still in no hurry to move away from the highly accommodative policy stance.

This morning the RBNZ are expected to leave the OCR unchanged at 1.75%, with the tone of the accompanying statement likely to dictate direction for the NZD going forward.

Global equity markets are broadly lower - Dow -0.23%, S&P 500 -0.06%, FTSE -0.33%, DAX -0.32%, CAC -0.37%, Nikkei -0.45%, Shanghai +0.52%

Gold prices have edged higher currently up 0.2% at $1,246 an ounce. .WTI Crude Oil have continued to slide, currently down 0.4% at $42.68 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7225 -0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9552 0.4%
NZDEUR 0.6471 -0.6%
NZDGBP 0.5704 0.5%
NZDJPY 80.49 0.3%
AUDUSD 0.7558 -0.2%
AUDGBP 0.6768 0.6%
AUDEUR 0.6806 -0.1%
AUDJPY 84.15 -0.3%
AUDNZD 1.0456 0.0%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7228 (mid-rate) this morning.

The Kiwi was the best performing of the G10 currencies in the past 24 hours, particularly against the Great British Pound which continues to struggle.

Prices in the latest Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction, the 12th sale of calendar 2017, declined 0.8% following a 0.6% gain previously. This was the first decline after six successive gains.Whole Milk Powder prices fell 3.3% following a 2.9% decline previously, although Skim Milk Powder prices rose 1.4% and butter prices have continued to rise. Prices are still fractionally above December 2016 highs in the latest auction which will underpin sentiment. It will, however, be crucial to hold this support area during July and through the New Zealand winter to help sustain confidence in the underlying outlook

In April 2017 the Current Account of the Euro Area recorded a surplus of €22.2 billion. This reflected surpluses for goods(€25.1 billion), primary income (€8.2 billion) and services(€7.4 billion), which were partly offset by a deficit for secondary income (€18.5 billion). The 12-month cumulated current account for the period ending in April 2017 recorded a surplus of €349.9 billion (3.2% of euro area GDP), compared with one of €358.6 billion (3.4% of euro area GDP) for the 12 months to April 2016. In the financial account, combined direct and portfolio investment recorded net acquisitions of assets of €71 billion and net incurrences of liabilities of €1 billion.

In May 2017 the German Producer Prices Index for industrial products rose by 2.8% compared with the corresponding month of the preceding year. Compared with the preceding month April 2017 the overall index fell by 0.2% in May 2017.

The U.S. current account deficit increased to $116.8 billion (preliminary) in the first quarter of 2017 from $114.0 billion (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2016. The deficit increased to 2.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.4% in the fourth quarter.

The $2.8 billion increase in the current account deficit reflected a $5.3 billion increase in the deficit on goods and a $3.6 billion decrease in the surplus on primary income that were partly offset by a $5.8 billion decrease in the deficit on secondary income and a $0.3 billion increase in the surplus on services.

Global equity markets view Japan as a lone green buoy in a sea of red - Dow -0.16%, S&P 500 -0.44%, FTSE -0.68%, DAX -0.58%, CAC -0.32%, Nikkei +0.81%, Shanghai -0.14%

Gold prices are currently down $2 or 0.2% at $1,243 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have plunged 3.6% at $42.83 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7245 0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9552 0.4%
NZDEUR 0.6507 0.4%
NZDGBP 0.5734 1.0%
NZDJPY 80.71 0.1%
AUDUSD 0.7572 -0.3%
AUDGBP 0.5965 0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6806 -0.1%
AUDJPY 84.41 -0.3%
AUDNZD 1.0457 -0.5%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7228 (mid-rate) this morning.

Overnight, hawkish comments from New York Fed President William Dudley has led to USD rally. With very little in the way of economic data releases investors focused on Fed President Dudley’s address to the North Country Chamber of Commerce, in Plattsburgh, where Dudley reiterated Yellen’s comments from last Thursday. Dudley stated “We are pretty close to full employment. Inflation is a little lower than what we would like, but we think that if the labour market continues to tighten, wages will gradually pick up and with that, inflation will gradually get back to 2 percent." The USD immediately strengthened against all its rivals following Dudley’s comments. Later this morning Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans is expected to continue talk up the economy when speaking at the New York University Money Marketeers event.

Yesterday U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis, met with Chief EU negotiator Michael Barnier in Brussels to begin Brexit negotiations. The UK have until 29th March 2019 to negotiate the terms of their departure from the European Union.

This afternoon the release of the RBA monetary policy meeting minutes should dictate direction for the NZDAUD cross rate while overnight tonight, the latest global dairy trade auction will be the main NZD driver ahead of Thursday’s RBNZ rate statement.

Global equity markets have had a positive start to the week - Dow +0.54%, S&P 500 +0.71%, FTSE +0.81%, DAX +1.07%, CAC +0.90%, Nikkei +0.62%, Shanghai +0.68%

Gold prices have pulled back currently down 0.6% at $1,245 an ounce. .WTI Crude Oil prices have started the week on the back foot, currently down 0.7% at $44.44 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7228 -0.4%
NZDAUD 0.9517 0.0%
NZDEUR 0.6483 0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5677 0.1%
NZDJPY 80.61 0.2%
AUDUSD 0.7594 -0.4%
AUDGBP 0.5965 0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6812 0.2%
AUDJPY 84.68 0.3%
AUDNZD 1.0507 0.0%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7255 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZDUSD has bounced back above 0.7250 following further disappointing economic data out of the US.

The US Commerce Department reports on both new residential construction and building permits fell short of economist’s estimates with housing starts falling by 5.5% in May to an annual rate of 1.092 million, while building permits also slumped, down 4.9% to an annual rate of 1.168 million during the same month. The USD fell further sill on the release of the University of Michigan's preliminary consumer sentiment index for the month of June. The index had been expected to edge up from 97.1 to 97.2 however with the index pulling back to 94.5 investors continued to trim their long USD positions.

Earlier in the day the Bank of Japan, as expected kept interest rates unchanged but any investors hoping for a reduction in the BOJ”s bond purchases were disappointed after Governor Haruhiko Kuroda reiterated that the BOJ has no intention of reducing its bond purchases of 80 trillion yen per year even though recent purchases have slowed significantly.

The highlight for the NZD this week will be Thursday’s RBNZ rate statement, with the market currently pricing in little chance of an interest rate move or any major changes to its policy statement.

Global equity markets closed out the week broadly higher - Dow +0.11%, S&P 500 +0.03%, FTSE +0.60%, DAX +0.48%, CAC +0.89%, Nikkei +0.56%, Shanghai -0.30%.

Gold prices were little changed on Friday closing out the week at $1,253 an ounce. .WTI Crude Oil prices edged higher on Friday but prices fell 2.4% over the course of the week, closing on Friday at $44.74 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7255 0.6%
NZDAUD 0.9515 0.1%
NZDEUR 0.6469 0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5671 0.4%
NZDJPY 80.45 0.7%
AUDUSD 0.7621 0.5%
AUDGBP 0.5961 0.4%
AUDEUR 0.6797 0.0%
AUDJPY 84.45 0.5%
AUDNZD 1.0508 0.0%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7212 (mid-rate) this morning only 5 points from where we began the week at 0.7207

The Kiwi has traded an 85 point or 1.2% range in the last 24 hours against the USD to finish 0.5% lower.

Australian Labour Force figures for May released yesterday were better than expected. Employment was up 42k, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.5% from 5.7%, and the participation rate was up to 64.9% from 64.8%.

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is maintaining its expansionary monetary policy, with the aim of stabilising price developments and supporting economic activity. Interest on sight deposits at the SNB is to remain at negative 0.75% and the target range for the three-month Libor is unchanged at between –1.25% and –0.25%.

The Euro Area recorded a €17.9bn surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world in April 2017, compared with +€26.6 bn in April 2016.

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) sets monetary policy to meet the 2% inflation target, and in a way that helps to sustain growth and employment. At its meeting ending on 14 June 2017, the MPC voted by a majority of 5-3 to maintain Bank Rate at 0.25%. The Committee voted unanimously to maintain the stock of corporate bond purchases and the stock of UK government bond purchases at £10 billion and £435 billion respectively.

UK Retails Sales was estimated to have fallen by 1.2% in May following strong growth in April 2017.

The U.S. job market continues to show signs of strength, as the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week fell to a three-week low. U.S. Initial jobless claims fell by 8k to 237k (forecast was 241k), close to 43-year-low of 227k.

Business activity rebounded strongly in New York State, according to firms responding to the June 2017 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index shot up twenty-one points to 19.8, its highest level in more than two years.

Global equity markets are lower - Dow -0.06%, S&P 500 -0.21%, FTSE -0.74%, DAX -0.89%, CAC -0.50%, Nikkei -0.26%, Shanghai +0.06%.

Gold prices are down $6 or 0.5% at $1,255 an ounce from yesterday’s open. WTI Crude Oil prices are down 0.8% at $44.39 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7212 -0.5%
NZDAUD 0.9509 -0.6%
NZDEUR 0.6463 0.0%
NZDGBP 0.5650 -0.7%
NZDJPY 79.48 0.0%
AUDUSD 0.7583 -0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5940 -0.2%
AUDEUR 0.6797 0.5%
AUDJPY 84.05 1.0%
AUDNZD 1.0513 0.6%

The Fed hiked Interest Rates 0.25% this morning at 6am NZT. The pertinent points of the FOMC statement at 6:30am NZT were:

The NZ Current account deficit seasonally adjusted was $2.8 billion during the quarter was up $1.1 billion from December last year. “It was the biggest quarterly deficit since the global financial crisis hit world markets in 2008,” Stats NZ said

The Kiwi is up against all of its trading partners except the AUD. The Kiwi briefly tested over 0.7300 this morning and has traded a 120 point range in the last 24 hours.

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7247 (mid-rate) this morning.
U.S. Fed have hiked interest rates 0.25% to 1.25% (RBNZ is at 1.75% and RBA is at 1.5%)
Rate hike reflects Economic progress
Fed Fund rate remains somewhat below neutral level
Economy should continue to warrant hikes, and appears to have rebounded
The Fed expects inflation to move up to 2%
Signs of an improving Labor market
Job market should strengthen somewhat further
Apparent one off events weigh on inflation
Policy is not on a pre-set course
Balance sheet not intended to be active policy tool
Trimming of balance sheet should begin this year by USD 50bn per month
Balance sheet trim will take “a few years”
Expect moderate growth in the next few years
Yellen: “I intend to serve out term as Fed chair” – no conversations with Trump about Future
Yellen declines comment on future role as Fed Chair, but “intends to find appropriate nominees”
Conditions in place for inflation to rise

The U.S. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.1% in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported overnight. Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 1.9%. A decrease in the energy index was the main contributor to the monthly decrease in the all items index.

U.S. retail sales recorded their biggest drop in more than a year in May amid declining purchases of motor vehicles and discretionary spending, which could temper expectations for a sharp acceleration in economic growth in the second quarter. The Commerce Department said overnight retail sales fell 0.3% last month after an unrevised 0.4% increase in April. May's decline was the largest since January 2016 and confounded economists' expectation for a 0.1% gain.

The number of persons employed increased by 0.4% seasonally adjusted in both the Euro Area (EA19) and in the EU28 in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the previous quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2016, employment increased also by 0.4% in both areas. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, employment increased by 1.5% in the euro area and by 1.4% in the EU28 in the first quarter of 2017.

The UK unemployment rate was 4.6%, down from 5.0% a year earlier and the joint lowest since 1975. The UK employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.8%, the joint highest since comparable records began in 1971.

Today we have NZD GDP at 10:45am, AUD Inflation Expectations at 1pm, and AUD Employment change, AUD Unemployment Rate and RBA bulletin at 1:30pm

Global equity markets are mainly lower - Dow +0.07%, S&P 500 -0.13%, FTSE -0.35%, DAX +0.32%, CAC -0.35%, Nikkei -0.08%, Shanghai -0.73%.

Gold prices were up $5 or 0.4% at $1,271 an ounce before the FOMC but are now down $5 or 0.4% from yesterday’s open to $1261. WTI Crude Oil prices have plunged 3.6% lower at $44.75 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7247 0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9564 -0.2%
NZDEUR 0.6464 0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5687 0.4%
NZDJPY 79.48 0.0%
AUDUSD 0.7587 0.6%
AUDGBP 0.5950 0.7%
AUDEUR 0.6764 0.6%
AUDJPY 83.23 0.4%
AUDNZD 1.0451 0.2%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7224 (mid-rate) this morning.

The Kiwi is up against most of its trading partners, but continues to be weak against the CAD and GBP. All eyes are now focused on the Fed Rate announcement tomorrow morning at 6am NZT, and the FOMC statement at 6:30am NZT

The UK had a myriad of news on the wires overnight. The UK Consumer Prices Index (CPI) including owner occupiers’ housing costs 12-month inflation rate was 2.7% in May 2017, up from 2.6% in April. The rate has been steadily increasing following a period of relatively low inflation in 2015 and is at its highest since April 2012.

U.K. inflation resumed its upward march last month, accelerating more than forecast to the fastest pace in four years. An increase in prices for computer games, laptops and package holidays -- partly reflecting the impact of the weaker pound -- lifted the inflation rate to 2.9%, the highest since June 2013. Economists had forecast that it would remain at 2.7%.

U.K. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, also unexpectedly increased in May, according to the Office for National Statistics. It reached 2.6%, the highest since November 2012.

The annual rate of U.K. Producer Price Inflation remained at 3.6% for the third consecutive month and slowed on the month to 0.1%, from 0.4% in March and April. The annual rate of inflation for materials and fuels (input prices) fell back to 11.6% in May, continuing its decline from 19.9% in January 2017 following the recent strength of sterling. The rate of increase in factory gate prices appears to be stabilising now that manufacturing input costs have largely fallen month-on-month since January.

The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany dropped by 2.0 points in June 2017 and now stands at 18.6 points. The indicator thus still remains below the long-term average of 23.9 points. By contrast, the assessment of the current economic situation in Germany improved once again in June. The indicator climbed by 4.1 points to 88.0 points. This is the highest level since July 2011. Despite a slight drop in expectations, the prospects for the economic growth in Germany in the coming six months remain positive.

The U.S. Producer Price Index for final demand was unchanged in May, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Final demand prices rose 0.5% in April and edged down 0.1% in March.

For the first time in 3 years, U.S. Core Producer Prices have risen at a faster pace than The Fed's mandated 2% target. May PPI (ex food and energy) rose 2.1% year-over-year, the highest since May 2014, as goods prices tumbled (gasoline, motor vehicles, fresh fruit) while services costs (retailer and wholesaler prices, and residential lending) jumped.

Global equity markets are mixed - Dow +0.38%, S&P 500 +0.38%, FTSE -0.15%, DAX +0.59%, CAC +0.40%, Nikkei -0.05%, Shanghai +0.44%.

Gold prices are unchanged at $1,266 an ounce. WTI Crude Oilprices have pushed higher again, currently up another 0.7% at $46.43 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7224 0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9579 0.2%
NZDEUR 0.6443 0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5664 -0.5%
NZDJPY 79.45 0.4%
AUDUSD 0.7540 0.0%
AUDGBP 0.5911 -0.8%
AUDEUR 0.6725 0.1%
AUDJPY 82.92 -0.4%
AUDNZD 1.0435 -0.2%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7206 (mid-rate) this morning.

In the absence of any notable economic data releases currency markets have traded in an orderly fashion with the GBP falling further after Moody's warned that U.K. election outcome would "complicate and probably delay" Brexit negotiations. Ahead of the shock election result British Prime Minister Theresa May had planned to start the negotiation with the European Union next Monday.

The CAD has been the best performing of the G10 currencies after Senior Deputy Governor of the bank of Canada, Carolyn Wilkins commented that the Central Bank “will assess if all the stimulus in place is still needed as economy growth continues and, ideally, broadens further”. The market has viewed this comment as a hint that a rate hike from the BOC this year, is a possibility.

Global equity markets have turned negative - Dow -0.29%, S&P 500 -0.36%, FTSE -0.21%, DAX -0.18%, CAC -0.47%, Nikkei -0.45%, Shanghai -0.59%.

Gold prices are little changed at $1,266 an ounce. .WTI Crude Oil prices have pushed higher, currently up 0.7% at $46.13 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7206 0.0%
NZDAUD 0.9559 -0.2%
NZDEUR 0.6428 0.0%
NZDGBP 0.5692 0.4%
NZDJPY 79.15 -0.5%
AUDUSD 0.7543 0.2%
AUDGBP 0.5961 0.7%
AUDEUR 0.6725 0.1%
AUDJPY 82.71 -0.4%
AUDNZD 1.0459 0.2%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7207 (mid-rate) this morning.

On Friday markets were dominated by the UK election results with the early exit polls followed by the final count resulting in a hung parliament. Prime Minister Theresa May has resisted pressure to resign and is seeking support from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party in an effort to keep the Conservatives in power. As you would expect the GBP plunged, initially losing 2% in response to the exit polls, but has since stabilised.

The week ahead will be dominated by Thursday’s economic data releases with the US retail sales and CPI data releases printing ahead of the FOMC monetary policy statement and New Zealand’s Q1 GDP result. As of this morning the market has all but priced in a hike from the Federal Reserve, while economists are forecasting our Q1 GDP to increase by 0.7%.

Global equity markets closed out the week mixed - Dow +0.42%, S&P 500 -0.08%, FTSE +1.04%, DAX +0.80%, CAC +0.67%, Nikkei +0.52%, Shanghai +0.26%.

Gold prices fell 1% on Friday to close out the week at $1,265 an ounce. .WTI Crude Oil prices edged higher on Friday to closing out the week at $55.83 a barrel for a weekly loss of 4%.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7207 -0.1%
NZDAUD 0.9578 0.2%
NZDEUR 0.6431 0.0%
NZDGBP 0.5667 1.7%
NZDJPY 79.55 0.2%
AUDUSD 0.7528 -0.2%
AUDGBP 0.6718 -0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6728 0.4%
AUDJPY 83.05 0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0441 -0.1%

The NZDUSD opens slightly higher this morning at 0.7214 (mid-rate).

The UK General Election results are currently unfolding with polls closing at 9am NZT. Polls are predicting Theresa May and the Conservative’s to increase their majority in the House of Commons. The first exit polls will start hitting the wires between 10am and 11am NZT. The GBP is currently stronger verses the USD and EURO but losing ground against the resurgent Kiwi dollar. Expect more volatility during the day.

The EURO headed lower overnight after the European Central Bank lowered its inflation projections. It also held interest rates steady at 0.0% while at the same time, signalling that it would be unlikely to cut rates further. ECB President Draghi stated that they expected interest rates to “remain at present levels for an extended period of time”. In a further dovish statement, they stated that “If the outlook becomes less favourable or if financial conditions become inconsistent with further progress towards a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation, the Governing Council stands ready to increase the programme in terms of size and/or duration."

There was no new dramatic headlines coming from former FBI Director Comey’s much anticipated congressional hearing overnight. While there was no new evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign team and Russian hackers looking to sway the US election, Trump’s lawyer has hit back claiming Comey has admitted being a leaker of classified information.

Oil prices continue to fall. Still reeling from the unexpected US inventories surge and more crude supply coming through from Nigeria, the WTI Crude price is down to 45.72 this morning.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7215 0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9556 0.3%
NZDEUR 0.6432 0.7%
NZDGBP 0.5574 0.4%
NZDJPY 79.36 0.4%
AUDUSD 0.7546 0.0%
AUDGBP 0.5830 0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6728 0.4%
AUDJPY 82.99 0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0456 -0.4%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7191 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD has had mixed fortunes over the past 24hrs with the AUD the standout performer on the back of a better-than-expected Q1 GDP report, and the CAD the worst performing of the G10 currencies weakening on the back of plummeting oil prices.

A lack of US economic data releases has seen markets tread water overnight, with investors looking to tonight’s trifecta of events for direction. Former FBI Director James Comey has released a prepared testimony confirming Donald Trump pressured him to drop investigations related to an ongoing probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. Comey is due to testify to congress tonight.

The European Central Bank (ECB) are expected to keep interest rates unchanged at tonight’s monetary policy meeting, while a lack of inflation is likely to see the ECB resist calls for them to start tapering QE.

UK voters head to the polls tonight with the latest election polls showing the Conservatives with a seven point lead the first exit polls are expected to be released at 11:00am tomorrow morning.

Crude oil futures fell sharply after US inventories increased by 3.3 million barrels in the week ended June 2. The result came as a complete surprise with analysts expecting a decrease of 3 million barrels.

Global equity markets are mixed Dow +0.21%, S&P 500 +0.11%, FTSE -0.62%, DAX -0.14%, CAC -0.07%, Nikkei +0.02% Shanghai +1.23%.

Gold prices are trading slightly lower, down 0.5% at $1,285 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil prices have plummeted, currently down 4.4% at $45.96 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7194 0.1%
NZDAUD 0.9525 -0.4%
NZDEUR 0.6386 0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5551 -0.3%
NZDJPY 79.01 0.4%
AUDUSD 0.7547 0.5%
AUDGBP 0.5826 0.2%
AUDEUR 0.6702 0.6%
AUDJPY 82.91 0.8%
AUDNZD 1.0494 0.4%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7186 (mid-rate) this morning.

The JPY has been the best performing currency over the past 24hrs as investors offload risk in favour of safe havens. The shift to safe havens started yesterday afternoon on the announcement that a number of Middle Eastern countries had severed ties with Qatar amid accusations it is supporting terrorism. Risk is likely to dominate markets over the next 48hrs with investors weary of Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting, along with the UK election and former FBI Director James Comey's congressional testimony.

Overnight European data releases came in mixed with retail sales printing just below the expected 0.2% result with a 0.1% gain, while investor confidence spiking to a near 10 year high in June. The index now sits at 28.4 up from 27.4 in May and ahead of the forecast 27.6 result.

The latest GDT auction produced another rise in prices with the index rising 0.6%, with skim milk powder prices spiking 7.9% offsetting a 2.9% fall in the price of whole milk powder which fell to an average of $3,143 a tonne.

This morning’s manufacturing data is likely to have little effect on the NZD while the NZDAUD cross rate direction will be dictated by the release of Australia’s Q1 GDP report due out at 13:30 this afternoon.

Global equity markets have edged lower Dow -0.05%, S&P 500 -0.05%, FTSE -0.01%, DAX -1.04%, CAC -0.73%, Nikkei -0.95% Shanghai +0.34%.

Gold prices have gained 1% overnight currently, trading at $1,291 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil prices have b


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7186 0.6%
NZDAUD 0.9567 0.3%
NZDEUR 0.6374 0.4%
NZDGBP 0.5566 0.6%
NZDJPY 78.67 0.3%
AUDUSD 0.7508 0.3%
AUDGBP 0.5817 0.3%
AUDEUR 0.6662 0.2%
AUDJPY 82.22 0.6%
AUDNZD 1.0449 -0.4%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7141 (mid-rate) this morning.

Friday’s disappointing US jobs report has seen broad-based USD weakness with the NZD consolidating close to 0.7150.

The US nonfarm payroll report for the month of May came in well below the market’s expectations pushing the US dollar index (DXY) down towards 6month lows. The report showed a sharp deceleration from an average of 181k jobs over the past 12 months with an increase of only 138k for May following on from a 174k in April.

Overnight US economic data releases were roughly in line with expectations with the ISM non-manufacturing index edging down to 56.9 in May from 57.5 in April (economists had forecast the index to dip to 57.0). As expected US factory orders nudged down by 0.2% in April after jumping by an upwardly revised 1.0 % in March.

The UK services PMI slowed more than expected in May with the business activity index falling to 53.8 after rising to 55.8 in April. Economists had expected the index to dip to 55.1.

The key domestic driver for the NZD this week is likely to be tonight’s GDT auction while this afternoons RBA rate statement should dictate direction for the NZDAUD cross rate.

Global equity markets are lower Dow -0.04%, S&P 500 -0.07%, FTSE -0.29%, DAX Closed, CAC -0.66%, Nikkei -0.03% Shanghai -0.45%.

Gold prices have edged higher, trading at $1,279 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil prices continue to fall currently trading at $47.24 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7141
NZDAUD 0.9539
NZDEUR 0.6346
NZDGBP 0.5532
NZDJPY 78.89
AUDUSD 0.7485
AUDGBP 0.5801
AUDEUR 0.6651
AUDJPY 82.71
AUDNZD 11.0486

The NZDUSD opens a little lower at 0.7062 this morning.

With no domestic data releases yesterday, it was up to offshore statistics to impact the level of the NZD.

Australian retail sales figures were surprisingly strong. This caused nothing more than a brief dip in the NZDAUD upward trend.

Of greater impact was the private survey of China’s manufacturing activity which contracted for the first time in almost 12 months. It caused the AUD to fall sharply dragging the NZD along for the ride to a lesser degree – nudging the NZDAUD even loftier levels.

The USD strengthened overnight after the US ADP jobs report exceeded forecasts. This release helped to push expectations to 87% that the US Fed will raise interest rates at its June 14-15 (NZ time) meeting.The more comprehensive US non-farm payrolls employment hits the tapes tonight.

Global equity markets were generally higher on the day – Dow 0.7%, Nikkei +0.4%, Shanghai -0.5%, FTSE +0.4%.

Gold prices fell by 0.5% to USD$1,268 an ounce. Oil prices (WTI) fell 0.5% to USD$48.10 per barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7062 -0.5%
NZDAUD 0.9575 0.3%
NZDEUR 0.6297 -0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5481 -0.4%
NZDJPY 78.64 0.2%
AUDUSD 0.7374 -0.8%
AUDGBP 0.5720 -0.8%
AUDEUR 0.6575 -0.5%
AUDJPY 82.10 -0.2%
AUDNZD 1.0445 -0.3%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7097 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZDUSD is attempting to push back above 0.7100 as I type, after stretching to a high of 0.7117 following yesterday‘s business confidence data release.

The EUR has been the best performing of the G10 currencies over the past 24hrs with investors seemingly ignoring disappointing Euro-zone inflation data and buying EUR‘s on the back of better than expected employment data. Headline inflation fell to 1.4% from 1.9% in April, with core inflation, which excludes energy, food, alcohol & tobacco, falling to 0.9% from 1.2%. Economists had forecast 1.5% for the headline and 1% for the core inflation. Euro-zone unemployment unexpectedly fell to 9.3% in April down from 9.4% in March, and now sits at its lowest level since March 2009 when the rate was 7.8%.

US data releases overnight once again sent mixed signals to investors with another fall in pending home sales for the month of April offsetting a stronger than forecast Chicago PMI data release.

Crude oil prices are falling as increased output from Libya and Nigeria is seen to be offsetting the supply limit deal between Saudi Arabia and Russia. US crude oil inventories data is due to be releases overnight, tonight.

This morning‘s overseas trade index data release should have little effect on the currency while this afternoon the Australian retail sales and Capex data releases will dictate direction for the NZDAUD cross rate.

Global equity markets have edged lower - Dow -0.16%, S&P 500 -0.23%, FTSE -0.09%, DAX -0.11%, CAC -0.92%, Nikkei -0.14% Shanghai +0.23%.

Gold prices have edged higher, up 0.2% trading at $1,269 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil prices are down 2.8% trading at $48.36 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7097 0.0%
NZDAUD 0.9547 0.5%
NZDEUR 0.6311 -0.5%
NZDGBP 0.5505 -0.3%
NZDJPY 78.51 -0.1%
AUDUSD 0.7433 -0.4%
AUDGBP 0.5766 -0.7%
AUDEUR 0.6611 -0.9%
AUDJPY 82.23 -0.6%
AUDNZD 1.0475 -0.5%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7095 (mid-rate) this morning.

Ahead of this morning‘s RBNZ financial stability report the NZD has managed to extend its gains against all its rivals.

Overnight Germany‘s economic data releases disappointed with both their monthly import prices and preliminary CPI for the month of April falling short of economist‘s estimates. Germany‘s import prices which had been expected to rise by 0.2% fell by 0.1%, while German inflation slowed by more than expected with the monthly consumer price index falling by 0.2% m/m. Economists had expected the index to edge down by 0.1%.

The USD came under pressure after their consumer confidence unexpectedly fell for a second consecutive month in May, with the index slipping to 117.9 down from 119.4 in April, the index had been expected to nudge back above 120. Other US data releases printed in line with expectations with both personal income and spending increasing by 0.4% in the month of April.

Global equity markets are broadly lower - Dow -0.24%, S&P 500 -0.09%, FTSE -0.28%, DAX -0.24%, CAC -0.50%, Nikkei -0.02% Shanghai Closed.

Gold prices are down 0.3% trading at $1,262 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil prices have edged back below $50 down 0.5% to be trading at $49.73 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7095 0.5%
NZDAUD 0.9502 0.2%
NZDEUR 0.6343 0.4%
NZDGBP 0.5519 0.4%
NZDJPY 78.61 0.1%
AUDUSD 0.7466 0.3%
AUDGBP 0.5807 0.2%
AUDEUR 0.6674 0.2%
AUDJPY 82.75 0.0%
AUDNZD 1.0524 -0.1%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7060 (mid-rate) this morning.

The Kiwi opens higher against all its major competitors in what was a relatively quiet night in the markets with Bank Holidays in the U.S., China and the U.K

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi spoke overnight. “Euro zone growth may be improving but inflation remains subdued and still requires substantial stimulus” hence tempering expectations for the bank's June 8 policy meeting.

With euro zone growth on its best run since the bloc's crisis a decade ago, pressure from more conservative countries has been mounting on Draghi to start planning an exit from its policy of aggressive bond purchases and sub-zero rates, setting up June as a potentially key meeting.

Still, with wage growth remaining subdued and underlying inflation weak, Draghi argued that the extraordinary monetary policy support was still needed to raise inflation back to the bank's 2 percent target.

Monetary developments in the Euro area were released overnight for April 2017. The annual growth rate of the broad monetary aggregate M3 decreased to 4.9% in April 2017, from 5.3% in March, averaging 5.0% in the three months up to April.

The annual growth rate of the narrower aggregate M1, which includes currency in circulation and overnight deposits, stood at 9.2% in April, compared with 9.1% in March.

The annual growth rate of Private Loans (adjusted loans to households) stood at 2.4% in April, unchanged from the previous month. The annual growth rate of adjusted loans to non-financial corporations stood at 2.4% in April, compared with 2.3% in March.

Global equity markets are closed in the US, UK, Germany, France, Hong Kong, China, - last readings Dow -0.01 S&P 500 +0.03%, FTSE +0.40%, DAX +0.21%, CAC -0.08%, Nikkei -0.02% Shanghai +0.07%.

Gold prices are up $2 or 0.2% trading at $1,266 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil prices are up 0.4% to be trading at $50.00 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7060 0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9486 0.3%
NZDEUR 0.6319 0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5497 0.9%
NZDJPY 78.55 0.3%
AUDUSD 0.7441 0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5794 -0.2%
AUDEUR 0.6651 0.0%
AUDJPY 82.83 0.2%
AUDNZD 1.0533 0.1%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7041 (mid-rate) this morning.

The Kiwi opens higher against all its major competitors except the Japanese Yen, and above key psychological level of 0.7000 versus the U.S. dollar

The U.S. Census Bureau announced the April advance report on manufacturers‘ shipments, inventories and orders on Friday night. New Orders for manufactured durable goods in April decreased $1.6 billion or 0.7% to $231.2 billion. This decrease down, following four consecutive monthly increases, followed a 2.3% March increase.

May 26 U.S. economic growth slowed less sharply in the first quarter than initially thought, but the weakness was likely an aberration amid a strong labor market that is near full employment. Gross domestic product increased at a 1.2% annual rate instead of the 0.7% pace reported last month, the Commerce Department said in its second estimate on Friday. That was the weakest performance in a year (since Q1 2016) and followed a 2.1% rate of expansion in the fourth quarter. The government revised up its initial estimate of consumer spending growth, but said inventory investment was far smaller than previously.

The first-quarter weakness is a blow to President Donald Trump's ambitious goal to sharply boost economic growth.During the 2016 presidential campaign Trump had vowed to lift annual GDP growth to 4 percent, though administration officials now see 3 percent as more realistic.

U.S. Consumers were less optimistic than expected during the month of May, new figures showed on Friday. The University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index hit 97.1 for its final reading in May. Economists expected the index to reach 97.5, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate, down from a preliminary reading of 97.7

Bank Holidays today in the U.S., China and the U.K

Global equity markets are broadly higher - Dow +0.01%, S&P 500 +0.03%, FTSE +0.40%, DAX -0.15%, CAC -0.01%, Nikkei -0.64% Shanghai +0.07%.

Gold prices are up $9 or 0.7% trading at $1,264 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil prices have plummeted 2.2% to be trading at $49.80 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7041 0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9461 0.4%
NZDEUR 0.6303 0.6%
NZDGBP 0.5449 0.4%
NZDJPY 78.33 -0.2%
AUDUSD 0.7433 -0.3%
AUDGBP 0.5803 0.7%
AUDEUR 0.6651 0.0%
AUDJPY 82.64 -0.9%
AUDNZD 1.0523 -0.8%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7024 (mid-rate) this morning.

The Kiwi opens modestly lower against most currencies but is up against the AUD and CAD. For the week the Kiwi is up 1.3% against the USD and EUR, up 1.5% versus the AUD, up 1.8% versus the JPY, and is up 2.0% against the Pound.

OPEC and non-members led by Russia decided overnight to extend cuts in oil output by nine months to March 2018 as they battle a global glut of crude after seeing prices halve and revenues drop sharply in the past three years.

Oil prices dropped more than 5% as the market had been hoping oil producers could reach a last-minute deal to deepen the cuts or extend them further, until mid-2018.

OPEC's cuts have helped to push oil back above $50 a barrel this year, giving a fiscal boost to producers, many of which rely heavily on energy revenues and have had to burn through foreign-currency reserves to plug holes in their budgets

UK gross domestic product (GDP) in volume terms was estimated to have increased by 0.2% between Quarter 4 2016 and Quarter 1 2017.

U.S. jobless-benefit claims inched up last week, while still hovering near levels that reflect a strong labor market. U.S. Initial benefit filings increased by 1k to 234k, forecast was 238k

The U.S international trade deficit was $67.6 billion in April, up $2.5 billion from $65.1 billion in March.

Global equity markets are mainly higher - Dow +0.37%, S&P 500 +0.53%, FTSE +0.04%, DAX -0.17%, CAC -0.08%, Nikkei +036% Shanghai +1.43%.

Gold prices are up $1 trading at $1,255 an ounce .WTI Crude Oilprices have plummeted 5.1% to be trading at $48.71 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7024 -0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9419 0.2%
NZDEUR 0.6267 -0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5428 -0.1%
NZDJPY 78.52 -0.2%
AUDUSD 0.7456 -0.6%
AUDGBP 0.5763 -0.4%
AUDEUR 0.6653 -0.5%
AUDJPY 83.35 -0.4%
AUDNZD 1.0613 -0.2%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7048 (mid-rate) this morning.

Markets traded tight ranges ahead of this morning's FOMC minutes with the Dollar Index (DXY) edging higher.

Overall the latest FOMC minutes contained few surprises. The market is now pricing in an 83% chance that the Fed will announce a modest hike in interest rates at their next meeting on the 14th June. Although FOMC voters added the caveat that “it would be prudent” to wait for evidence that a recent slowdown in economic activity had been transitory. “Most participants judged that if economic information came in about in line with their expectations it would soon be appropriate for the committee to take another step in removing some policy accommodation.” Policy makers also backed a plan that would gradually shrink their $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

Overnight the National Association of Realtors reported US existing home sales fell by 2.3% to an annual rate of 5.57 million in April after spiking by 4.2% to a ten-year high of 5.70 million in March. Economists had forecast sales to fall to a rate of 5.65 million.

ECB President Mario Draghi acknowledged the euro zone's best economic growth run in a decade “and this will of course be fully reflected in our future decisions,” while at the same time he urged caution, arguing “that economic output will not reach the currency bloc's potential before the end of next year and that wage growth is not reassuring.” Draghi went on to state that “inflation remains weak so there is no need to deviate from the policy path already laid out.” The ECB's next policy meeting is on the 8th June.

The highlight for the NZD today will be our annual budget due to be released at 2:00pm.

Global equity markets have turned positive - Dow +0.31%, S&P 500 +0.08%, FTSE +0.40%, DAX +0.19%, CAC +0.32%, Nikkei +0.72% Shanghai +0.07%.

Gold prices are unchanged trading at $1,254 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil prices have edged down 0.3% to be trading at $51.33 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7048 0.6%
NZDAUD 0.9399 0.3%
NZDEUR 0.6284 0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5436 0.6%
NZDJPY 78.65 0.5%
AUDUSD 0.7499 0.3%
AUDGBP 0.5785 0.3%
AUDEUR 0.6687 0.0%
AUDJPY 83.68 0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0637 -0.3%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7005 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD continues to outperform, extending yesterday's gains against all its main rivals, with the NZDUSD rate trading to a high of 0.7041. Investors remain in a cautious mood and will look to tomorrow's Fed minutes for further hints about a US rate hike in June before adding to their positions.

The JPY has weakened after an IHS Markit report showed Japan's manufacturing activity expanded at the weakest pace in 6mths. The Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 52.0 in May following a 52.7 reading in April. The index had been forecast to rise to 52.9.

The GBP slid lower yesterday following the terror attack in Manchester, England, where 22 people were killed and 59 injured by a suspected suicide bomber at the end of an Ariana Grande concert.

German Ifo Business Sentiment is at record highs with the index rising to 114.6in May up from an upwardly revised 113.0 in April. The index had been expected to edge up to 113.1.

New home sales in the US for the month of April fell by 11.4% to an annual rate of 569k from an upwardly revised 642k in March. The result comes up well short of the expected 602k of new home sales. The sharpest drop came in the West where sales plummeted by 26.3%.

This morning's Trade Balance is expected to show a surplus of 268m down from 332m in April.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7005 0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9369 0.2%
NZDEUR 0.6265 0.7%
NZDGBP 0.5406 0.5%
NZDJPY 78.29 0.7%
AUDUSD 0.7475 0.0%
AUDGBP 0.5766 0.3%
AUDEUR 0.6687 0.5%
AUDJPY 83.59 0.6%
AUDNZD 1.0672 -0.2%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6991 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD has started the week as the strongest of the G10 currencies having outperformed all of its rivals. Late yesterday the NZD broke up through its 0.6950 resistant level against the USD and has since raced higher. Fundamentally there has been no new economic data driving this move although technicals would suggest the move higher was overdue.

Overnight comments made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the EUR has seen the EUR add to its recent gains against the USD. Merkel was quoted as saying the single market currency is “too weak” and blamed the European Central bank (ECB) for the record German trade surplus. The comments will add to the pressure already on ECB President Mario Draghi to tighten monetary policy.

Once again there is very little in the way of economic data releases during our trading day and investors will monitor speeches from two of the FOMC voting members, Lael Brainard and Charles Evans who are both expected to continue to back future rate hikes in line with Janet Yellen's forecast of four hikes in 2017.

Global equity markets are mixed - Dow +0.46%, S&P 500 +0.46%, FTSE +0.34%, DAX -0.15%, CAC -0.03%, Nikkei +0.46% Shanghai -0.48%.

Gold prices continue to edge higher currently up 0.5% trading at $1,261 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil prices are still moving upward, extending their recent gains by 0.7% to be currently trading at $50.70 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6991 0.9%
NZDAUD 0.9352 0.8%
NZDEUR 0.6222 0.6%
NZDGBP 0.5378 1.0%
NZDJPY 77.75 0.8%
AUDUSD 0.7477 0.2%
AUDGBP 0.5750 0.3%
AUDEUR 0.6652 -0.1%
AUDJPY 83.12 0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0691 -0.8%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6931 (mid-rate) this morning.

In the absence of any notable US economic data releases currency markets traded in an orderly fashion on Friday with the USD remaining under pressure due to political uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration.

Friday's Euro-zone data releases printed ahead of expectations with consumer confidence strengthening for the third consecutive month in May, while Germany's producer prices increased by 3.4% y/y in April after recording . 3.1% rise in March. This represents the largest increase since December 2011.

Global equity markets continued to recover from their mid-week sell off with all the major averages closing out the week in positive territory, but still down on a weekly basis.

There is very little in the way of domestic economic data releases ahead of Thursday's annual budget release, while internationally Thursday morning's FOMC meeting minutes will be scrutinised by investors for clues on the timing of the next rate move. Currently the market is pricing in a 76% chance of a hike in June.

Global equity markets had a positive close to the week - Dow +0.69%, S&P 500 +0.67%, FTSE +0.46%, DAX +0.39%, CAC +0.66%, Nikkei +0.19%, Shanghai +0.02%.

Gold prices edged higher on Friday closing out the week at $1,255 an ounce for a weekly gain of 2.1% .WTI Crude Oil prices spiked 5% over the course of the week, and closed on Friday back above $50, at $50.33 barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6931 0.6%
NZDAUD 0.9281 -0.1%
NZDEUR 0.6187 -0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5323 -0.1%
NZDJPY 77.10 0.3%
AUDUSD 0.7462 0.6%
AUDGBP 0.5735 0.0%
AUDEUR 0.6661 -0.3%
AUDJPY 83.01 0.4%
AUDNZD 1.0775 0.1%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6940 (mid-rate) this morning.

Global equity markets and the US dollar are sharply lower on the back of ongoing political turmoil surrounding the Trump administration. The latest accusations are that Donald Trump interfered with the FBI's investigation into his former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Trump is accused of asking former FBI director James Comey to end the federal investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn. The news comes hot on the heels that Trump shared highly classified information with Russian officials.

The political uncertainty has seen investors flock to safe-havens with the JPY and gold benefitting the most.

Overnight Euro-zone inflation for the month of April printed in line with economist's estimates, increasing to 1.9% following on from March's 1.5% result.

UK unemployment edged lower in Q1 with the Office for National Statistics report showing the unemployment rate now sits at 4.6%, down from 4.7% in Q4 2016. Economists had expected the unemployment rate to remain at 4.7%

NZ has no scheduled economic data releases due out today although the NZDAUD cross rate will be dictated by the monthly Australian employment report due to be released at 13:30.

Global equity markets are a sea of red - Dow -1.53%, S&P 500 -1.47%, FTSE -0.26%, DAX -1.35%, CAC -1.63%, Nikkei -0.53% Shanghai -0.27%.

Gold prices continue to rise currently up 01.6% trading at $1,258 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil has rallied 1% currently trading at $49.18 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6940 0.8%
NZDAUD 0.9344 0.8%
NZDEUR 0.6221 0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5347 0.3%
NZDJPY 77.00 -1.1%
AUDUSD 0.7427 0.0%
AUDGBP 0.5730 -0.3%
AUDEUR 0.6701 -0.8%
AUDJPY 82.44 -1.9%
AUDNZD 1.0700 -0.8%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6883 (mid-rate) this morning.

This morning's Global Dairy Trade auction has had little effect on the NZD, with the EUR and JPY outperforming all other G10 currencies.

Prices at this morning's Global Dairy Trade auction have increased for a fifth consecutive time. The index increased by 3.2% from the previous auction a fortnight ago. Whole milk powder and skim milk powder edged up 1.3% and 15 respectively while the big mover was butter which increased by 11.2%. A total volume of 21,236 metric tonnes of product sold at this morning's auction, slightly less than the 22,633 metric tonnes of product sold at the previous auction.

The EUR has been the best performing G10 currency over the past 24hrs spiking after the Euro-zone Flash GDP rose 0.5%, in line with expectations and although

German ZEW Economic Sentiment came up short of its forecast result (20.6 Vs 22.3) the Euro-zone ZEW Economic Sentiment surged to 35.1 well ahead of its estimated 29.1 reading.

US economic data releases were once again mixed with disappointing building permits and housing starts data releases being offset by better than expected industrial production.

Inflation in the UK rose more-than-expected with the Office for National Statistics report showing CPI spiked to 2.7% in April ahead of the forecast 2.4% increase. CPI is now at its highest level since September 2013.

The highlight for the NZD today will be this morning's Producer Price Index (PPI) data release, currently forecast to increase by 0.7%.

Global equity markets are mixed - Dow -0.04%, S&P 500 -0.13%, FTSE +0.91%, DAX -0.02%, CAC -0.21%, Nikkei +0.25% Shanghai +0.74%.

Gold prices continue to push higher currently up 0.7% trading at $1,238 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil is little changed currently trading at $48.70 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6883 0.1%
NZDAUD 0.9267 -0.1%
NZDEUR 0.6210 -0.9%
NZDGBP 0.5330 -0.1%
NZDJPY 77.82 -0.5%
AUDUSD 0.7416 0.3%
AUDGBP 0.7430 0.2%
AUDEUR 0.6701 -0.8%
AUDJPY 84.00 -0.4%
AUDNZD 1.0783 0.0%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6877 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD is trading a little higher against the majority of its rivals,benefiting from yesterday's better-than-expected retail sales data. The report showed Q1 retail sales spiked a seasonally adjusted 1.5% (exp 1.1%) while core retail sales (excludes autos and gas stations) were up 1.2% (exp 0.9%).

Overnight US data releases were once again mixed with the New York manufacturing sector reporting a slight contraction for the month of May. The index dipped by 1.0 in May following a 5.2 gain in April. Economists had forecast the index to rise to 7.0. The better news came from the latest homebuilder confidence report with the Housing Market Index unexpectedly rising to 70 in May after declining to 68 in April. Economists had forecast an unchanged result.

The only data release of note during our trading day is the release of the RBA monetary policy meeting minutes due to hit the tapes at 13:30, while overnight tonight the NZD direction will be dictated by the latest GDT auction. The futures prices for WMP are currently down 2% ahead of tonights auction.

Global equity markets are broadly higher - Dow +0.37%, S&P 500 +0.42%, FTSE +0.26%, DAX +0.29%, CAC +0.22%, Nikkei -0.07% Shanghai +0.22%.

Gold prices have edged higher currently trading at $1,227 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil are up for the fourth consecutive trading session currently trading at $48.87 a barrel a gain of 2.2%.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6877 0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9276 0.1%
NZDEUR 0.6266 -0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5335 0.4%
NZDJPY 78.19 0.8%
AUDUSD 0.7416 0.3%
AUDGBP 0.5751 0.2%
AUDEUR 0.6765 -0.3%
AUDJPY 84.30 0.8%
AUDNZD 1.0781 0.0%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6855 (mid-rate) this morning.

Markets traded sideways during our trading day on Friday as investors took a breather ahead of Friday night's US economic data releases.

The USD came under pressure as both retail sales and inflation data fell short of economist's estimates. The Commerce Department retail sales report showed retail sales climbed by 0.4% in April, economists had expected a 0.6% increase, while the price index rose by 0.2% in April after falling 0.3% in March. Economists had forecast a 0.3% increase in the index. The news was not all bad for the dollar with consumer sentiment in the U.S showing a modest improvement in May. The University of Michigan report said the preliminary reading on the consumer sentiment index for May increased to 97.7, after April's final reading of 97.0. The index had been expected to inch up to 97.3.

Key domestic data releases for the NZD this week will be this morning's quarterly retail sales report which is expected to show an increase of 1.1% during Q1 after reporting a 0.8% gain in Q4, while on Wednesday morning the latest GDT auction followed by our quarterly PPI data release should dictate direction for the NZD.

Global equity markets closed out the week mixed- Dow -0.11%, S&P 500 -0.14%, FTSE +0.66%, DAX +0.47%, CAC +0.41%, Nikkei -0.39%, Shanghai +0.72%.

Gold prices edged higher on Friday closing out the week at $1,228 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil prices traded sideways on Friday closing out the week with a modest 3.5% gain at $47.84 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6855 0.0%
NZDAUD 0.9271 -0.2%
NZDEUR 0.6271 -0.6%
NZDGBP 0.5315 0.0%
NZDJPY 77.55 -0.6%
AUDUSD 0.7392 0.2%
AUDGBP 0.5737 0.3%
AUDEUR 0.6765 -0.3%
AUDJPY 83.65 -0.3%
AUDNZD 1.0785 0.3%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6852 (mid-rate) this morning.

The Kiwi was the worst performing currency of the majors in the last 24 hours.

The Kiwi fell 100 points after the RBNZ rate announcement yesterday at 9am. The RBNZ left rates at 1.75% as expected but the key point was monetary policy will remain accommodative for considerable period.

In the week ending May 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted U.S. initial claims was 236,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 238,000.

The bigger-than-forecast rebound in April wholesale prices indicates inflation pressures continue to build in the U.S. economy and that March's decline was short-lived, Labour Department data showed overnight. U.S. Producer-price index increased 0.5%, forecast was 0.2% rise, following a 0.1% decline the prior month.

The U.K. Index of Production for Q1 2017 was estimated to have increased by 0.1%. Increases of 0.3% in manufacturing and 1.8% in mining and quarrying were offset by a fall of 4.3% in energy supply. In March 2017, total production decreased by 0.5% compared with February 2017.

Between Q4 2016 and Q1 2017, the total trade deficit for the UK (goods and services) widened by £5.7 billion to £10.5 billion; this followed a sharp narrowing in Q4 2016. The UK's total trade deficit (goods and services) widened by £2.3 billion between February and March 2017 to £4.9 billion, contributing nearly half of the quarterly deficit.

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) sets monetary policy to meet the 2% inflation target, and in a way that helps to sustain growth and employment. At its meeting ending on 10 May 2017, the Committee voted by a majority of 7-1 to maintain Bank Rate at 0.25%. The Committee voted unanimously to maintain the stock of sterling non-financial investment-grade corporate bond purchases, at £10 billion, and the UK government bond purchases at £435 billion.

The Bank of England said it may need to raise interest rates faster than the market suggests, assuming that Brexit goes well.

Global equity markets are mixed - Dow -0.17%, S&P 500 -0.28%, FTSE +0.02%, DAX -0.36%, CAC -0.32%, Nikkei +0.31%, Shanghai +0.29%.

Gold prices are up $7 or 0.6% trading at $1,225 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil is up 1.2% currently trading at $47.81 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6852 -1.1%
NZDAUD 0.9387 0.3%
NZDEUR 0.6307 -1.1%
NZDGBP 0.5314 -0.7%
NZDJPY 78.00 -1.6%
AUDUSD 0.7379 0.2%
AUDGBP 0.5718 0.5%
AUDEUR 0.6788 0.2%
AUDJPY 83.93 -0.3%
AUDNZD 1.0758 1.3%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6888 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD starts the day back under 0.6900 after setting a 0.6927 high in the last 24 hours.

The Australian budget was released overnight and was close to market expectations. The main aspect to effect hitting the budget targets will be additional currency vulnerability if GDP growth rates fail to meet expectations. In the budget statement, Australian Treasurer Morrison announced measures to boost infrastructure spending. The government is planning a second international airport for Sydney together with a substantial package for road and rail investment. The total spending commitment on capital projects amounted to AUD 75 billion over the next ten years.

In March 2017, German production in industry was down by 0.4% from the previous month on a price, seasonally and working day adjusted basis according to provisional data of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). In February 2017, the corrected figure shows an increase of 1.8% (primary +2.2%) from January 2017.

Germany exported goods to the value of 118.2 billion euros and imported goods to the value of 92.9 billion euros in March 2017. These are the highest monthly figures ever reported for both exports and imports. German exports increased by 10.8% and imports by 14.7% in March 2017 year on year. The foreign trade balance showed a surplus of 25.4 billion euros in March 2017. In March 2016, the surplus amounted to 25.8 billion euros.

The number of U.S. job openings was little changed at 5.7 million on the last business day of March, the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics reported overnight. Over the month, hires and separations were also little changed at 5.3 million and 5.1 million, respectively.

The U.S. Wholesale Business Inventories grew 0.2% during the month of March, beating expectations, a rate slightly down from February's 0.4% figure. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting wholesale inventories to fall 0.1% in March.

The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index, a leading national poll on U.S. consumer confidence, indicates that consumer confidence has held steady, with the May reading at 51.3, little changed from April when the index stood at 51.7. This remains slightly above the 12-month average of 51. It also marks the eighth consecutive month above 50, which indicates optimism.

Global equity markets are mainly higher - Dow -0.06%, S&P 500 -0.02%, FTSE +0.57%, DAX +0.43%, CAC -+0.28%, Nikkei -0.26%, Shanghai +0.06%.

Gold prices are down $11 or 0.9% trading at $1,216 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil is down 0.6% currently trading at $46.05 a barrel


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6888 -0/4%
NZDAUD 0.9387 0.3%
NZDEUR 0.6337 0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5329 -0.2%
NZDJPY 78.71 0.7%
AUDUSD 0.7337 -0.7%
AUDGBP 0.5676 -0.6%
AUDEUR 0.6751 -0.1%
AUDJPY 83.84 0.4%
AUDNZD 1.0648 -0.3%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6914 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD has had a reasonable start to the week making small gains against all its rivals and one of the few currencies to hold its own against a rising USD. The NZDUSD had traded up as high as 0.6940 during our trading day but lost momentum as the US dollar index (DXY) turned positive.

With yesterday's French Presidential election delivering the expected result investor focus switched from political concerns, to the weekend's economic data releases. The stronger than expected US employment report appears to be the main driver for the strengthening USD with the market as of this morning now fully pricing in a hike in US interest rates from the Federal Reserve at their next meeting on June 15th.

Overnight Germany's factory orders increased for the second consecutive month in March, growing by 1% m/m after a revised 3.5% increase in February. The result was in line with expectations.

Global equity markets are mixed - Dow -0.05%, S&P 500 -0.05%, FTSE +0.05%, DAX -0.18%, CAC -0.91%, Nikkei +2.31% Shanghai -0.79%.

Gold prices are unchanged trading at $1,227 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil are little changed currently trading at $46.32 a barrel


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6914 0.1%
NZDAUD 0.9358 0.5%
NZDEUR 0.6325 1.0%
NZDGBP 0.5341 0.4%
NZDJPY 78.18 0.4%
AUDUSD 0.7387 -0.3%
AUDGBP 0.5708 0.0%
AUDEUR 0.6758 0.5%
AUDJPY 83.53 -0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0683 -0.5%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6905 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD rallied on Friday, making steady gains against all its major rivals after Friday's inflation expectations report showed New Zealand firms had raised their expectations for inflation over the next two years above 2% for the first time since 2015.

Strong jobs data out of the US on Friday was countered by disappointing wage growth. The non-farm payroll report showed employment surged by 211k jobs in April well ahead of the expected 185k increase. Although March's 85k increase in jobs was downwardly revised to a 79k increase the unemployment rate edged down to a 10yr low of 4.4% in April from 4.5% in March. Economists had expected unemployment to increase to 4.6%.

As expected centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron has decisively won the French presidential election to become the youngest president in the country's history. Earlier this morning the election results showed Mr Macron defeated far-right candidate Marine Le Pen by an estimated 65.5% to 34.5% majority.

There is very little in the way of local economic data until Thursday's RBNZ Monetary Policy Statement. The RBNZ are expected to keep the OCR unchanged at 1.75%.

Global equity markets closed out the week broadly higher- Dow +0.26%, S&P 500 +0.40%, FTSE +0.68%, DAX +0.55%, CAC +1.12%, Nikkei +0.70%, Shanghai -0.788%.

Gold prices were down 3.3% over the course of the week closing on Friday at $1,227 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil rallied on Friday after it was reported that Saudi oil export loadings fell by more than 670,000 barrels a day in the month of April closing out the week at $46.22 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6905 0.6%
NZDAUD 0.9310 0.5%
NZDEUR 0.6265 0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5320 0.2%
NZDJPY 77.85 0.9%
AUDUSD 0.7410 0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5710 -0.3%
AUDEUR 0.6725 -0.2%
AUDJPY 83.60 0.4%
AUDNZD 1.0735 -0.4%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6875 (mid-rate) this morning.

Broad USD strength on the back of better-than-expected US economic data releases has seen the NZDUSD retrace yesterday morning's sharp rise following the release of our quarterly employment report.

Ahead of this morning's FOMC statement strong non-manufacturing and service data on top of slightly better than expected private sector employment report out of the US saw the greenback rise against all its major trading partners. The ADP report showed private sector employment climbed by 177k jobs in April after surging up by a downwardly revised 255k jobs in March. Economists had forecast an addition of 175k jobs in addition to the previously reported 263k jobs for the month of March.

US non- manufacturing and service sector growth both exceeded expectations with the service index rising to 53.1 (exp 52.5) and the non-manfacturing index spiking to 57.5 (exp 56.1).

There were no surprises in this morning's FOMC statement where the Fed voted unanimously to leave its interest rate unchanged at 0.75% to 1%, although the statement has been viewed as slightly “hawkish” with the Fed still “expecting the economy to warrant gradual rate hikes.”

Global equity markets are mixed - Dow -0.09%, S&P 500 -0.21%, FTSE -0.21%, DAX +0.16%, CAC -0.06%, Nikkei Closed Shanghai -0.27%.

Gold prices continue to edge lower, down 0.6% currently trading at $1,247 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil are little changed currently trading at $47.81 a barrel


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6875 -0.8%
NZDAUD 0.9261 0.6%
NZDEUR 0.6305 -0.6%
NZDGBP 0.5336 -0.5%
NZDJPY 77.43 -0.3%
AUDUSD 0.7421 -1.4%
AUDGBP 0.5765 -1.0%
AUDEUR 0.6811 -1.2%
AUDJPY 83.60 -0.9%
AUDNZD 1.0798 -0.6%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6930 (mid-rate) this morning.

A further increase in global dairy prices has helped support the NZD. Ahead of the latest dairy auction the NZDUSD had been threatening to push back below 0.6900 bur rose sharply on the back of a fourth consecutive rise in dairy prices.

Prices in the latest Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction rose 3.6% following a 3.1% gain at the previous auction a fortnight ago. Whole Milk Powder prices were up a further 5.2% to $3,233/MT following a 3.5% increase previously. Skimmed Milk Powder decreased marginally by 0.9% while the standout performer was butter milk powder which gained 21.8%.

Overnight Euro-zone manufacturing PMI printed in line with expectations while the British pound was boosted after the Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers' Index for the manufacturing sector unexpectedly rose to 57.3 in the month of April. Economists had been expecting the index to pull back to 54.0 following March's 4-month low of 54.2 result.

Further direction for the NZD will be dictated by this morning's quarterly employment report and labour cost index due for release at 10:45.

Global equity markets are broadly higher - Dow +0.11%, S&P 500 +0.08%, FTSE +0.64%, DAX +0.56%, CAC +0.70%, Nikkei +0.70%, Shanghai -0.35%.

Gold prices have edged down 0.2% currently trading at $1,255 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil continues to fall down 2.1% overnight currently trading at $47.83 a barrel


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6930 0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9206 0.3%
NZDEUR 0.6345 0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5362 0.2%
NZDJPY 77.68 0.5%
AUDUSD 0.7528 -0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5825 -0.2%
AUDEUR 0.6892 -0.2%
AUDJPY 84.35 0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0861 -0.4%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6909 (mid-rate) this morning.

After five consecutive daily losses and trading to 9 months lows against the USD the NZD along with the AUD have rallied circa 1% against the majors. The push higher against the USD comes on the back of further disappointing US economic data.

Overnight US personal spending and personal income came in slightly lower than forecast, while manufacturing PMI and construction spending were very disappointing with construction spending unexpectedly decreasing during the month of March after spiking 1.8% in February. Economists had expected spending to increase by 0.5%. The ISM purchasing managers index fell more than expected in April with the report showing the index fell to 54.8 after rising to 57.2 in March. The index had been expected to edge down to 56.6.

This afternoon manufacturing data out of China and the RBA cash rate statement will be the highlights, with the RBA expected to keep their OCR unchanged at a record low of 1.5%.

UK and European equity markets were closed yesterday - Dow +0.02%, S&P 500 +0.31%, FTSE Closed DAX Closed, CAC Closed, Nikkei +0.59%, Shanghai +0.08%.

Gold prices are down 0.8% currently trading at $1,267 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil is down 1% overnight currently trading at $48.85 a barrel


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6909 0.7%
NZDAUD 0.9174 -0.1%
NZDEUR 0.6335 0.8%
NZDGBP 0.5353 1.0%
NZDJPY 77.26 1.2%
AUDUSD 0.7532 0.8%
AUDGBP 0.5836 1.1%
AUDEUR 0.6906 0.9%
AUDJPY 84.23 1.4%
AUDNZD 1.0900 0.2%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6860 (mid-rate) this morning.

Markets were subdued going into month-end, (and for many a bank holiday weekend) on Friday with both currency and equity markets showing little reaction to a raft of economic data releases.

On the whole UK, Euro-zone, and US economic data releases all fell short of expectations. The release of flash/advanced quarterly GDP estimations for all three regions disappointed with the UK and Euro-zone readings falling just short of expectations, up 0.3% Vs 0.4%, while the US advanced GDP was particularly disappointing increasing by 0.7% in Q1 well short of the forecast 1.3% growth, following on from a stellar 2.1% reading in the fourth quarter.

The week ahead offers plenty in the way of both domestic and international data releases with Tuesday night's GDT auction, Wednesday's quarterly employment data and Friday's inflation expectations report the pick of the domestic data releases. On the international data front we have monetary policy statements out of the RBA and the US Federal Reserve as well as the French Presidential elections to look forward to.

Global equity markets closed out the week slightly lower- Dow -0.19%, S&P 500 -0.19%, FTSE -0.46%, DAX -0.05%, CAC -0.08%, Nikkei -0.29%, Shanghai +0.08%.

Gold prices were down 1.6% over the course of the week closing on Friday at $1,267 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil was little changed on Friday closing out the week below $50 at $49.33 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6860 -0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9185 -0.2%
NZDEUR 0.6286 -0.6%
NZDGBP 0.5329 -0.6%
NZDJPY 76.34 -0.2%
AUDUSD 0.7470 0.0%
AUDGBP 0.5789 -0.5%
AUDEUR 0.6845 -0.3%
AUDJPY 83.09 0.0%
AUDNZD 1.0881 0.2%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6877 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD was the worst performing currency of the majors overnight. The Kiwi has traded a 203 point or 2.9% range this week from the high on Monday, and is down 6.8% from the 2017 high of 0.7376

Last night the Governing Council of the ECB decided that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.40% respectively.

The Governing Council continues to expect the key ECB interest rates to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time, and well past the horizon of the net asset purchases.

Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits rose to a four-week high last week, interrupting a run of subdued firings, a Labour Department report showed overnight. Jobless claims increased by 14,000 to 257,000 (forecast was 245,000) in the week ended April 22.

The U.S. Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, declined 0.8% to 111.4 in March from 112.3 in February. Despite last month's decrease, the index is 0.8% above a year ago.

Global equity markets are mixed: Dow +0.05%, S&P 500 +0.06%, FTSE -0.71%, DAX -0.23%, CAC -0.31%, Nikkei -0.19%, Shanghai +0.36%.

Gold prices are down 0.1% currently trading at $1,264 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil is down 1.2% overnight currently trading at $49.16.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6877 -0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9204 -0.2%
NZDEUR 0.6321 0.0%
NZDGBP 0.5329 -0.6%
NZDJPY 76.47 -0.3%
AUDUSD 0.7471 -0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5789 -0.5%
AUDEUR 0.6867 0.2%
AUDJPY 83.09 0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0862 0.2%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6895 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD continues to underperform on broad USD strength. The USD has clawed back some of its recent losses against both the JPY and the EUR on anticipation that this morning's tax reform announcement could boost the Dollar. The dollar index (DXY) is currently up 0.5%.

This morning White House Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced what the Trump administration is calling “the biggest tax cuts in history”. The plan is to slash US corporate tax rates from 35% to 15% as well as reducing individual income tax brackets from seven to three (10%, 25%, 35%). The plan if passed will also eliminate inheritance taxes and include a one-time tax on corporate profits overseas that would allow companies to repatriate funds to the United States. Initial reaction to the reforms is that it is a tax cut for the wealthy that will benefit Wall Street and Trump.

Overnight, tonight investors will look to the ECB Minimum Bid Rate announcement as well as US durable goods and weekly employment reports for further direction.

Global equity markets continue to strengthen - Dow +0.17%, S&P 500 +0.23%, FTSE +0.18%, DAX +0.05%, CAC +0.19%, Nikkei +1.10%, Shanghai +0.20%.

Gold prices are holding steady currently trading at $1,265 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil is slightly higher up 0.5% overnight currently trading at $49.75.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6895 -0.7%
NZDAUD 0.9221 0.0%
NZDEUR 0.6320 -0.6%
NZDGBP 0.5362 -1.1%
NZDJPY 76.72 -0.7%
AUDUSD 0.7477 -0.8%
AUDGBP 0.5818 -1.0%
AUDEUR 0.6854 -0.6%
AUDJPY 83.00 -0.9%
AUDNZD 1.0845 0.0%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6945 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD has been the worst performer of the G10 currencies and it's difficult to see why. After failing to break up through 0.7050 resistance against the USD on Monday the NZD quickly reversed lower. Despite improved risk sentiment after the French election's first round outcome and an absence of any local economic data releases investors seem to be reacting to Trump's protectionist policies, with the US President due to announce tax reforms later today.

Overnight US economic data releases delivered mixed signals to investors with consumer sentiment fall short of expectations while new home sales spiked 5.8% in March. After two consecutive monthly rises in confidence in the US, economists had expected to see the index dip from 125.6 to 123.1, with last night's 120.3 result slightly worse than expected. Conversely The Commerce Department's new home sales report showed sales surged 5.8% to an annual rate of 621k in March with February's previously reported 585k result upwardly revised to 587k.

Global equity markets are broadly higher - Dow 1.21%, S&P 500 +0.71%, FTSE +0.15%, DAX +0.10%, CAC +0.17%, Nikkei +1.08%, Shanghai -0.16%.

Gold prices are down 1% currently trading at $1,262 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil is now trading below $50 a barrel at $49.48.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6945 -1.3%
NZDAUD 0.9221 -0.7%
NZDEUR 0.6355 -1.4%
NZDGBP 0.5419 -1.0%
NZDJPY 77.25 -0.6%
AUDUSD 0.7539 -0.5%
AUDGBP 0.5877 -0.3%
AUDEUR 0.6893 -10.7%
AUDJPY 83.78 0.0%
AUDNZD 1.0845 0.7%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7035 (mid-rate) this morning.

This morning French voters delivered the result the markets were hoping for with independent centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right Europhobe Marine Le Pen advancing to the next round of voting on the 7th May. Marcon won 23.7% of the vote with Le Pen close behind with 21.7%. The result has seen the EUR gap 2% higher from Friday's close as many now believe that supporters for Republican candidate and third place contender, Francois Fillon, will support Macron.

On Friday a stellar US existing home sales report had little effect on the dollar. The report showed existing home sales spiked 4.4% to an annual rate of 5.71 million in March reversing February's 3.9% fall.

Late on Friday the UK's Office for National Statistics released a disappointing retail sales report for the month of March. The report showed retail sales fell 1.8% month-on-month in March. Economists had expected to see a slight fall of 0.5% from February's revised 1.7% rise.

Global equity markets closed out the week mixed- Dow -0.15%, S&P 500 -0.30%, FTSE -0.06%, DAX +0.18%, CAC -0.37%, Nikkei +1.03%, Shanghai +0.03%.

Gold prices were unchanged on Friday closing out the week at $1,284 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil continued to fall on Friday down 7.4% on the week closing on Friday at $49.62 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7035 0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9315 -0.2%
NZDEUR 0.6445 -1.4%
NZDGBP 0.5472 0.1%
NZDJPY 77.71 1.4%
AUDUSD 0.7575 0.6%
AUDGBP 0.5897 0.5%
AUDEUR 0.6941 -1.1%
AUDJPY 83.74 1.8%
AUDNZD 1.0765 0.3%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7013 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZDUSD traded a 52 point range or 0.74% in the last 24 hours. The Kiwi rallied strongly after yesterday's better than expected CPI but slipped back again in the US session to open modestly higher against most currencies.

Results from the April U.S. Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey suggest that regional manufacturing activity continued to expand, but at a slower pace than last month. The index for current manufacturing activity in the region decreased from a reading of 32.8 in March to 22.0 this month.

In the week ending April 15, the advance figure for U.S. seasonally adjusted initial claims was 244,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 234,000. The 4-week moving average was 243,000.

Data releases tonight include CAD CPI, US PMI and Existing Home Sales, FOMC Member Kashkari Speaks, and International Monetary Fund Meetings are held Saturday and Sunday.

European equity markets are higher: Dow +0.98%, S&P 500 +0.87%, FTSE +0.06%, DAX +0.09, CAC +1.48%, Nikkei -0.01%, Shanghai -+0.04%.

Gold prices are down 0.1% currently trading at $1,281 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil is currently down 0.7% trading at $49.90 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7013 0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9315 -0.2%
NZDEUR 0.6539 0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5469 -0.1%
NZDJPY 76.62 0.6%
AUDUSD 0.7528 0.4%
AUDGBP 0.5870 0.1%
AUDEUR 0.7019 0.3%
AUDJPY 82.25 0.8%
AUDNZD 1.0731 0.2%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7005 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZDUSD failed to break above 0.7050 during our trading day, yesterday and opens this morning on the brink of trading back below 0.70. There was very little in the way of economic data overnight and the move lower looks to be on the back of USD strength which has seen US Treasury bond yields push higher. The 10-year T-Bond yield is currently up 2% on the day.

Overnight UK MP's backed Theresa May's motion to hold a snap election on the 8th June by a massive margin of 522 to 13. A two-thirds majority was required to pass the motion.

Crude oil prices have plummeted on the back of an increase in production and a smaller-than-expected decline in US crude inventories. This morning's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report showed a decline in crude oil stocks of 1mill barrels on the week, slightly less than estimates, while concerns over rising oil output in the US has been the main catalyst for the fall in prices.

This morning's CPI data release due to hit the tapes at 10:45 will be the key driver for the NZD today. Economists are expecting to see a strong gain of 0.8% for Q1 2017 after Q4 2016 edged up 0.4% slightly ahead of the expected 0.3% result.

European equity markets are mixed - Dow -0.37%, S&P 500 -0.06%, FTSE -0.46%, DAX +0.13%, CAC +0.27%, Nikkei +0.07%, Shanghai -0.81%.

Gold prices are down 0.6% currently trading at $1,282 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil has plunged overnight currently down 4.3%% trading at $50.25 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7002 -0.5%
NZDAUD 0.9337 0.3%
NZDEUR 0.6535 -0.4%
NZDGBP 0.5474 -0.1%
NZDJPY 76.16 -0.3%
AUDUSD 0.7495 -0.8%
AUDGBP 0.5862 -0.3%
AUDEUR 0.7045 -1.2%
AUDJPY 81.58 -0.5%
AUDNZD 1.0707 -0.3%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7037 (mid-rate) this morning.

Once again geopolitical news has dominated markets after UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced a snap general election for June 8. The GBP which initially plunged on the announcement has since surged higher and is the strongest performing currency over the past 24hrs. With the FTSE 100 leading the way (closing down 2.46%) global equity markets have turned negative.

This morning's global dairy trade auction (GDT) has seen the price index rise for the third consecutive time increasing by 3.1% with average prices of $3,139. Whole milk power increased by 3.5% to $2,998 a tonne, while skim milk power and butter prices were standout performers increasing by 7.1% and 6.0% respectively from the previous auction a fortnight ago.

This morning's US housing starts data release put further downward pressure on the dollar with the report showing housing starts plunged by 6.8% to an annual rate of 1.215 million in March from an upwardly revised 1.303 million in February. Economists had expected housing starts to fall by 2% to a rate of 1.262 million from the 1.288 million originally reported for the previous month.

European equity markets are broadly lower - Dow -0.49%, S&P 500 -0.26%, FTSE -2.46%, DAX -0.90%, CAC -1.59%, Nikkei +0.35%, Shanghai -0.79%.

Gold prices are edging higher currently trading at $1,290 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil is slightly lower down 0.2% trading at $52.53 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7037 0.5%
NZDAUD 0.9311 0.9%
NZDEUR 0.6561 -0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5477 -1.7%
NZDJPY 76.38 0.0%
AUDUSD 0.7557 -0.4%
AUDGBP 0.5882 -2.6%
AUDEUR 0.7045 -1.2%
AUDJPY 82.02 -0.8%
AUDNZD 1.0738 -0.9%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7005 (mid-rate) this morning.

Investors remain cautious as geopolitical instability continues to dominate the news. The NZDUSD traded to a high of 0.7035 on a combination of better-than-expected China data and disappointing US economic data.

China's GDP and Industrial production growth were both ahead of economists' estimates with Q1 GDP expanding at 6.9% y/y (exp 6.8%) while Industrial production growth spiked to 7.6% in March (exp 6.3%) after recording 6.3% growth in both January and February.

On Friday the US Labor Department consumer price index fell by 0.3% in March after recording a small increase (+0.1%) in February, while retail sales in the month of March fell by 0.2% with February's previously reported 0.1% uptick downwardly revised to a 0.3% fall.

The French presidential election is looking more and more unpredictable with four candidates having a realistic chance of making it through to the second round after this weekend's first round vote. The latest polls show conservative François Fillon and communist Jean-Luc Mélenchon have seen late surge in voter support and are within reach of the current front runners' centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-Right leader Marine Le Pen.

Domestic highlights for the NZD this week are likely to be tonight's Fonterra auction and Thursday's quarterly CPI data release.

European equity markets closed lower ahead of the long weekend, but this morning US markets are in positive territory - Dow +0.64%, S&P 500 +0.6%, FTSE -0.29%, DAX -0.38%, CAC -0.59%, Nikkei +0.11%, Shanghai -0.74%.

Gold prices are up 15 from Friday trading at $1,287 an ounce .WTI Crude Oil is down 1.1% from last week's close currently trading at $52.65 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7005 0.7%
NZDAUD 0.9232 -0.5%
NZDEUR 0.6584 0.4%
NZDGBP 0.5573 0.1%
NZDJPY 76.37 0.1%
AUDUSD 0.7591 1.3%
AUDGBP 0.6037 0.6%
AUDEUR 0.7131 0.9%
AUDJPY 82.71 0.6%
AUDNZD 1.0832 0.5%