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MARKET COMMENTARIES

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6919 (mid-rate) this morning.

Renewed risk-off sentiment hit markets yesterday afternoon after Donald Trump tweeted that he was not happy with the China trade negotiations so far, despite China reducing import tariffs on autos, and that there was a “substantial chance” that the proposed summit with North Korea in June "would not work out". European equity markets along with the EUR have been the worst affected with uncertainty over the political situation in Italy weakening sentiment in the region further.

UK inflation disappointed with the Office for National Statistics reporting consumer prices climbed 2.4% y/y in April. The result was short of the expected 2.5% rise and is the slowest pace in 13mths.

Euro-zone private sector growth slowed for the fourth consecutive month with the flash survey for May falling to an 18mth low of 54.1 from April’s final reading of 55.1. The index was expected to remain unchanged.

This morning’s FOMC minutes have been deemed to be slightly dovish with both the USD and treasury yields falling following the release. Although the Fed all but confirmed that they will hike rates in June followed by another in September commenting that “it would likely soon be appropriate for the Committee to take another step in removing policy accommodation,” they went on to state that “they will tolerate above-target price growth for the foreseeable future as ‘a temporary period of inflation modestly above 2 percent would be consistent with the Committee's symmetric inflation objective and could be helpful in anchoring longer-run inflation expectations at a level consistent with that objective,” denting hopes of a possible fourth hike this year.

Global equity have fallen sharply- Dow -0.27%, S&P 500 -0.23%, FTSE -1.13%, DAX -1.47%, CAC -1.32%, Nikkei -1.18%, Shanghai -1.41%.

Gold prices are unchanged trading at $1,292 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices are down 1.0% trading at $71.55 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6919 -0.2%
NZDEUR 0.5911 0.5%
NZDGBP 0.5181 0.4%
NZDJPY 76.15 -0.9%
NZDAUD 0.9147 0.0%
AUDUSD 0.7563 -0.2%
AUDEUR 0.6462 0.5%
AUDGBP 0.5664 0.4%
AUDJPY 83.27 -1.0%
AUDNZD 1.0931 0.0%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6932 (mid-rate) this morning.

Currency markets have consolidated with a lack of economic data keeping investors on the side lines.

Commodity-linked currencies pushed higher yesterday afternoon but have since retraced the move after China announced it was reducing tariffs on imported cars from 25% to 13.8%. The reductions will take effect on July 1st with German and Japanese car manufacturers set to benefit the most.

The British Pound strengthened after the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said interest rates are set to rise at a gentle pace and the slowdown seen in the first quarter was temporary. His comments were echoed by BoE policy maker Gertjan Vlieghe who said interest rates are likely to rise by 25 to 50 basis points every year over a three-year forecast period, bringing policy rate closer to neutral.

The UK Office for National Statistics reported the UK budget deficit narrowed in April with public sector net borrowing, excluding public sector banks, decreasing by GBP 1.6b to GBP 7.8b. this is the lowest net borrowing in 10yrs.

With very little in the way of economic data during our trading day investors are likely to await tonight’s UK inflation report along with tomorrow morning’s FOMC meeting minutes before adding to their positions.

Global equity are mixed- Dow -0.27%, S&P 500 -0.01%, FTSE +0.23%, DAX +0.71%, CAC +0.05%, Nikkei -0.18%, Shanghai +0.02%.

Gold prices are unchanged trading at $1,292 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices are holding steady trading at $72.24 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6931 -0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5882 -0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5158 -0.3%
NZDJPY 76.88 -0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9147 -0.1%
AUDUSD 0.7578 0.0%
AUDEUR 0.6431 0.0%
AUDGBP 0.5639 -0.1%
AUDJPY 84.07 0.0%
AUDNZD 1.0933 0.1%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6941 (mid-rate) this morning.

Geopolitical risked eased yesterday with markets responding positively to the news that the US and China have agreed to drop tariff threats and work together on a wider agreement.

Global equity markets along with risk linked currencies have moved to the upside with the AUD the strongest performing of the G10 currencies.

The NZD failed to keep track with the AUD with yesterday’s disappointing retail sales report weighing on the dollar. Q1 retail sales increased just 0.1% well below the expected 1.0% growth, with Q4’s previously reported 1.7% increase downwardly revised to 1.4%.

The British Pound is under pressure as investors trim their long GBP positions ahead of Wednesday night’s inflation report. Traders remain wary after last month’s report showed UK inflation fell at a much faster rate than expected, from 2.7% to 2.5%, prompting the BOE to cut its inflation forecasts.

Global equity are broadly higher- Dow +1.17%, S&P 500 +0.77%, FTSE +1.03%, DAX Closed%, CAC +0.41%, Nikkei +0.31%, Shanghai +0.64%.

Gold prices are unchanged trading at $1,292 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have pushed higher, up 1.3% trading at $71.37 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6941 0.3%
NZDEUR 0.5891 0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5171 0.6%
NZDJPY 77.06 0.4%
NZDAUD 0.9159 -0.4%
AUDUSD 0.7576 0.7%
AUDEUR 0.6431 0.6%
AUDGBP 0.5643 1.0%
AUDJPY 84.11 0.7%
AUDNZD 1.0917 0.4%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6919 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD had a positive close to the week, rising against all its major rivals and closing back above 69 US cents as US Treasury yields pulled back from 7-year highs. After spiking to 3.109 late on Thursday, yield on the ten-year note fell 4.2 basis points on Friday closing out the week at 3.067%

The ECB reported its current account surplus declined for the second consecutive month and now sits at its lowest level in 9-months. The current account surplus fell to a seasonally adjusted EUR 32.0B in March from EUR 36.8B in February.

The CAD was the worst performing of the G10 currencies on Friday following disappointing economic data. Friday’s inflation data showed the consumer price index rising at an annual pace of 2.2% in April, down from 2.3% in March and below the expected unchanged result.

News that China and the US are “putting the trade war on hold” came after markets had closed for the week and should have a positive effect on equity markets this morning. The US announced they won’t impose tariffs on Chinese products for now, after China proposed to “significantly increase purchases” of U.S. goods.

This main focus for local investors this morning will be NZ’s quarterly retail sales report, with economists expecting a 1% increase in Q1 following on from Q4’s 1.7% rise.

Global equity markets finished the week mixed, - Dow +0.00%, S&P 500 -0.26%, FTSE -0.12%, DAX -0.28%, CAC -0.13%, Nikkei +0.40%, Shanghai +1.24%.

Gold prices edged higher on Friday up 0.1%, closing out the week at $1,292 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices inched lower on Friday, down 0.3% to close out the week at $71.37 a barrel, having gained 1.0% on the week.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6919 0.7%
NZDEUR 0.5875 0.8%
NZDGBP 0.5138 1%
NZDJPY 76.75 0.8%
NZDAUD 0.9194 0.4%
AUDUSD 0.7527 0.2%
AUDEUR 0.6391 0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5588 0.6%
AUDJPY 83.51 0.4%
AUDNZD 1.0878 -0.4%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6896 (mid-rate) this morning.

The Kiwi has managed to recover some ground overnight, after setting new lows around 0.6850 in the current down-trend.

The commodity currencies on the whole were the best performers across the majors, despite some geopolitical uncertainty surrounding North Korea. U.S. equity markets rose modestly, and treasury markets finished the day unchanged after showing early strength.

In a statement issued by the state-run Korean Central New Agency, North Korean First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kye Gwan suggested Trump must accept the communist party as a nuclear power. Kim pointed to "unbridled remarks" by U.S. officials, which call on North Korea to abandon nuclear weapons first, and be compensated afterward, and threatened to withdraw from an historic meeting planned between leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.

U.S. economic data was mixed overnight, with Building Permits coming in on expectation at +1.35M, Housing Starts below expectations at 1.29M vs 1.32M expectation, and Industrial production climbing by 0.7% in April, higher than the 0.6% rise forecasted by economists.

Oil prices remain elevated, finishing the day higher with Crude Inventories coming in lower than the market had expected at -1.4M barrels, vs the forecasted decline of -1.1M barrels.

Overnight data tonight includes US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index, and US Unemployment Claims.

Global equities: Dow +0.1%, S&P 500 +0.3%, FTSE +0.2%, DAX -+0.2%, CAC +0.3%, Nikkei -0.4%, Shanghai -0.1%.

Gold prices are unchanged overnight at $1,288 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices continue to push higher, up 0.25% trading at $71.50 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6895 0.6%
NZDEUR 0.5840 0.8%
NZDGBP 0.5113 0.7%
NZDJPY 76.02 0.5%
NZDAUD 0.9174 -0.1%
AUDUSD 0.7515 0.6%
AUDEUR 0.6367 1.0%
AUDGBP 0.5570 0.7%
AUDJPY 82.93 0.7%
AUDNZD 1.0893 0.0%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6857 (mid-rate) this morning.

The USD outperformed overnight as Bond prices fell and Treasury yields spiked higher, following solid economic data releases out of the US.

The US Commerce Department retail sales report showed both retail sales and core retail sales (excluding automobiles) increased by 0.3% in the month of April following March’s upwardly revised respective 0.8% and 0.4% increases.

The Empire State manufacturing index jumped to 20.1 in May following a 15.8 reading in April and well ahead of the projected 15.0 result.

Home builder confidence in the US unexpectedly increased in May with NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rising to 70 following a downwardly revised 68 reading in April. The index had been expected to remain unchanged from the previously reported 69 reading in April.

The US 10-year Treasury yield spiked to 3.09%, its highest level since 2011, while yield on the US 2-year note hit a high of 2.589 percent, its highest level since August 11, 2008.

The EUR came under pressure against the majors following weaker than expected economic data releases, with Eurostat reporting gross domestic product in the Euro-zone region grew 0.4% in Q1 slower than the 0.7% increase seen in Q4 2017.

Weak trade data has seen Germany's economic growth halved in Q1 with the Destatis report showing GDP grew at 0.3% in Q1 following Q4’s 0.6% expansion.

Strong jobs growth in the UK which has pushed the UK’s employment rate to a fresh record in the first three months of 2018 has failed to push up wage growth. The Office for national Statistics reported employment rose by 0.4 points to 75.6% in the latest quarter, the highest since modern records began in 1971, but wage growth for the same quarter increased by 2.6% on a year earlier, slower than the annual rise of 2.8% recorded in the three months to February, and short of the forecast 2.7% increase.

Global equity remain are mixed- Dow -0.75%, S&P 500 -0.87%, FTSE +0.16%, DAX -0.06%, CAC +0.23%, Nikkei -0.21%, Shanghai +0.57%.

Gold prices are sharply lower, down 1.9% trading at $1,288 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have pushed higher, up 0.9% trading at $71.31 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6857 -0.8%
NZDEUR 0.5793 0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5079 -0.3%
NZDJPY 75.64 -0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9181 0.0%
AUDUSD 0.7467 -0.8%
AUDEUR 0.6305 0.0%
AUDGBP 0.5529 -0.4%
AUDJPY 82.39 -0.2%
AUDNZD 1.0891 0.1%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6915 (mid-rate) this morning.

In the absence of any notable economic data releases currency markets have had a slow start to the week with the NZD the notable underperformer.

The NZD has been on the back foot since Thursday’s dovish Reserve Bank statement and has been unable to sustain any sort of rally.

The EUR received a boost overnight after European Central Bank policy maker Francois Villeroy de Galhau signalled that he expects bond purchases to end later this year and that the ECB could expect to hike rates in 2019. In an interview in Paris, the French central banker announced that inflation should accelerate in the coming months as underlying price pressures increase.

Direction during our trading day will be dictated by this afternoon’s China retail sales and industrial production data releases, while overnight tonight investors will look to the US retail sales before adding to their portfolios.

Global equity markets are mixed- Dow +0.25%, S&P 500 -0.04%, FTSE -0.18%, DAX -0.18%, CAC -0.02%, Nikkei +0.47%, Shanghai +0.34%.

Gold prices are little changed trading at $1,313 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have edged higher, up 0.3% trading at $70.69 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6915 -0.6%
NZDEUR 0.5826 -0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5095 -0.7%
NZDJPY 75.77 -0.4%
NZDAUD 0.9182 -0.4%
AUDUSD 0.7529 -0.2%
AUDEUR 0.6306 -0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5551 -0.3%
AUDJPY 82.55 0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0882 0.6%

The NZDUSD opens unchanged at 0.6966 (mid-rate) this morning.

The Kiwi remains the worst performing of the G10 currencies since Friday morning, in relatively quiet trade.

Overnight on Twitter U.S. President Trump announced he has instructed the Commerce Department to reverse its sanctions on China’s ZTE, which can be taken as a key concession in the trade negotiations.

U.S. University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment was modestly better than the market expectation for 98.5 in May with a reading of 98.8

Canadian Employment rate remained unchanged in April at 5.8%, and the Employment Change fell by 1,100 jobs when 17,800 was expected, from 32,300 in March

This week’s data releases for New Zealand include Global Dairy Auction Wednesday, Producer Price Index and Annual Budget on Thursday

Global equity markets are all higher: Dow +0.37%, S&P 500 +0.17%, FTSE +0.31%, DAX -0.17%, CAC -0.07%, Nikkei +1.16%, Shanghai -0.35%.

Gold prices are down 0.5% or $7 to $1,314 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have fallen 1.4% trading at $70.45 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6966 -0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5826 -0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5132 -0.4%
NZDJPY 76.05 -0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9219 -0.2%
AUDUSD 0.7542 0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6315 -0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5567 -0.1%
AUDJPY 82.44 0.0%
AUDNZD 1.0817 0.0%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6966 (mid-rate) this morning.

The Kiwi is the worst performing of the G10 currencies in the past 24 hours after then new RBNZ Governor, Adrian Orr’s first Monetary Policy Statement and Press Conference, yesterday morning.

The RBNZ left the Official Cash Rate at 1.75% and stated that Monetary Policy will remain accommodative for a "considerable period"

U.S. Initial Claims for unemployment benefits were unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 211,000 for the week ending 5thMay. Expectation was for a rise to 218,000, but the 211k is still juxtaposed to the 209k recorded on April 21 2018, which was the lowest level since December 1969

U.S. Consumer Price Index increased by 0.2% in April on a seasonally adjusted basis after falling 0.1% in March, behind expectation for a 0.3% rise.

The U.S. Fed tries to keep Inflation close to its 2% target by influencing labour market conditions via interest rates, and services prices tend to be more sensitive to the labour market than goods prices. U.S. Service prices excluding energy rose 2.9% in the year through to April, however after Rents are removed they were only up 2.3%, which was little changed from March. This removes the risk that the Fed will increase the pace of interest rate hikes, as they don’t see an overheating market.

The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee held rates at 0.5% by a 7-2 majority. The MPC voted unanimously to maintain the stock of corporate and government bond purchases. The Q1 slowdown in economic growth put the kibosh on the case for higher borrowing costs. The BOE expects the U.K. economy to grow by 1.4% in 2018 downgrading its previous expectation of 1.8% which was slightly above the market expectation.

Global equity markets are all higher: Dow +0.79%, S&P 500 +0.85%, FTSE +0.50%, DAX +0.62%, CAC +0.20%, Nikkei +0.39%, Shanghai +0.48%.

Gold prices are up 0.7% to $1,321 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have continued to rally currently up 0.4% trading at $71.44 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.697 -0.3%
NZDEUR 0.584 -0.9%
NZDGBP 0.515 -0.1
NZDJPY 76.18 -0.6%
NZDAUD 0.924 -1.3%
AUDUSD 0.754 1.0%
AUDEUR 0.632 0.4%
AUDGBP 0.5575 1.2%
AUDJPY 82.43 0.7%
AUDNZD 1.082 1.31%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6985 (mid-rate) this morning.

The CAD is the best performing of the G10 currencies as crude oil prices rebound from yesterday’s fall, breaking up through $71.00 a barrel.

Another rise in US Treasury bond yields has seen the Japanese Yen under perform with USD/JPY threatening to break up through the key 110.00 psychological mark.

The yield on the two-year Treasury note hit 2.53% its highest since September 2009, while the yield on the 10-year Treasury note continues to hover around the 3% mark despite soft overnight US economic data.

US producer prices in the month of April inched up by 0.1% following on from March’s 0.3% rise and short of expectations of a 0.2% increase. Wholesale inventories increased by 0.3% in March after climbing by 0.9% in February, economists had forest inventories to to increase by 0.5%.

The RBNZ have maintained the Official Cash Rate (OCR) at 1.75%. This was widely expected. The NZD is lower in immediate response.

Global equity markets are mixed- Dow +0.77%, S&P 500 +1.02%, FTSE +1.08%, DAX +0.24%, CAC +0.23%, Nikkei -0.44%, Shanghai -0.07%.

old prices have edged lower, down 0.2% to $1,312 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have rebounded from yesterday’s fall currently up 2% trading at $71.12 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6935
NZDAUD 0.9295
NZDEUR 0.5850
NZDGBP 0.5115
NZDJPY 76.05

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7018 (mid-rate) this morning.

Currencies have been somewhat side-lined as global equity markets and oil prices push higher.

Positive corporate earnings along with the weekends US jobs data have seen major averages push higher. Oil prices are back above USD $70 a barrel for the first time since November 2014. Surplus oil stocks have been steadily declining since the OPEC cartel cut production and with President Trump threatening to re-impose sanctions to reduce Iranian oil exports prices have risen sharply.

Overnight Euro-zone economic data disappointed with investor confidence weakening for the fourth consecutive month and German factory orders unexpectedly declining in the month of March.

The Sentix investor sentiment index fell unexpectedly to 19.2 in May from 19.6 in April. Economists had expected the index to rise to 22.4.

German factory orders declined 0.9% m/m in March following on from a downwardly revised 0.2% fall in February, once again this came as a surprise to economists who had predicted orders to increase by 0.5% following three consecutive monthly falls.

The key driver for the NZD during our trading data will be this afternoon’s RBNZ quarterly inflation expectations due for release at 15:00.

Global equity markets broadly higher- Dow +0.67%, S&P 500 +0.61%, FTSE Closed, DAX +1.00%, CAC +0.28%, Nikkei -0.03%, Shanghai +1.48%.

Gold prices are unchanged trading at $1,314 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have broken up through $70 a barrel overnight currently trading at $70.63 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7018 -0.1%
NZDAUD 0.9335 0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5885 0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5175 -0.3%
NZDJPY 76.48 -0.3%
AUDUSD 0.7515 -0.3%
AUDGBP 0.5542 -0.4%
AUDEUR 0.6301 0.0%
AUDJPY 81.92 -0.4%
AUDNZD 1.0711 -0.1%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7025 (mid-rate) this morning.

Friday’s US employment data sent mixed signals to the market with the USD posting modest gains against all its rivals.

The US Labour Department reported the non-farm payroll employment climbed by 164K jobs in April well below economist’s estimates of an increase of 192k jobs, while at the same time the unemployment rate fell to 3.9% after holding steady at 4.1% for the past six months. Economists had expected the rate to edge down to 4.0%.

Euro-zone economic activity continues to expand at a reasonable pace IHS Markit reporting its composite output index inched down to 55.1 in April following on from March’s 55.2 reading. A reading above 50.0 signals expansion.

Euro-zone retail sales disappointed with data from Eurostat showing retail sales inched up 0.1% m/m in March, following a 0.3% increase in February and well below the forecast 0.5% increase.

The key domestic drivers for the NZD this week will be tomorrow’s quarterly Inflation Expectations and Thursday morning’s RBNZ monetary policy statement.

Global equity markets finished the week mixed, - Dow +1.39%, S&P 500 +1.28%, FTSE +0.86%, DAX +1.02%, CAC +0.26%, Nikkei -0.16%, Shanghai -0.32%.

Gold prices edged higher on Friday up 0.1%, closing out the week at $1,321 an ounce down 0.7% on the week. WTI Crude Oilprices pushed higher on Friday, up 1.6% to close out the week at $69.72 a barrel, having gained 1.9% on the week.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7025 -0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9323 -0.3%
NZDEUR 0.5872 0.0%
NZDGBP 0.5189 0.0%
NZDJPY 76.71 -0.2%
AUDUSD 0.7535 0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5565 0.3%
AUDEUR 0.6303 0.4%
AUDJPY 82.27 0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0725 0.3%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7043 (mid-rate) this morning.

The Kiwi is the best performer of the G10 currencies as the USD lost ground after yesterday morning’s Fed announcement underwhelmed the market.

The NZDUSD has traded a 106 point or 1.50% range this weekfalling from Monday’s high of 0.7089 to a 0.6983 low on Wednesday. Thursday’s bullish, overbearing daily candle combined with a close back above 0.7000 suggests a retracement higher is likely on a correctional basis to 0.7150. This is underpinned by the Relative Strength Index retracing from a low of 26 to be at 35 (back above the 30 oversold indicator) and moving higher. The 200 moving day average is at 0.7166.

In the week ending April 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted U.S. Initial Claims was 211,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 209,000. The 4-week moving average was 221,500, a decrease of 7,750 from the previous week. This is the lowest level for this average since March 3, 1973 when it was 221,250.

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced overnight that the goods and services deficit was $49.0 billion in March, down $8.8 billion from $57.7 billion in February, revised. March exports were $208.5 billion, $4.2 billion more than February exports. March imports were $257.5 billion, $4.6 billion less than February imports. Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $25.5 billion, or 18.5%

Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world widened from $2.9 billion in February to a record $4.1 billion in March. Canada's imports rose 6.0% to a record $51.7 billion in March. Exports also increased, up 3.7% to $47.6 billion.

Economic activity in the U.S. Non-Manufacturing sector grew in April for the 99th consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business. NMI® registered 56.8%, down 2% from March.

The U.S. Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased to 59.1% down from 60.6% in March reflecting growth for the 105th consecutive month. New Orders Index at 60% from 56.6% in March. Employment Index at 53.6% from 56.6% in March. The respondents have expressed concern regarding the uncertainty about tariffs and the effect on the cost of goods. Overall, the respondents remain positive about business conditions and the economy.

Overnight data tonight includes U.S. Unemployment rate, U.S. Non-Farm Employment Change, U.S. Average Hourly Earnings and four FOMC Members speaking. Euro area PMI and Retail Sales; and German, French, Italian and Spanish PMI.

Global equity markets are mainly lower: Dow +0.05%, S&P 500 -0.18%, FTSE -0.54%, DAX -0.88%, CAC -0.50%, Nikkei closed, Shanghai +0.64%.

Gold prices are modestly higher 0.1%, trading at $1,313 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices are up another 1.0% overnight currently trading at $68.48 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7043 0.7%
NZDAUD 0.9351 0.2%
NZDEUR 0.5871 0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5189 0.8%
NZDJPY 76.90 0.1%
AUDUSD 0.7531 0.5%
AUDGBP 0.5548 0.5%
AUDEUR 0.6278 0.1%
AUDJPY 82.22 -0.2%
AUDNZD 1.0690 -0.2%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6995 (mid-rate) this morning.

The USD continues to climb ahead of tomorrow morning's FOMC monetary policy statement. The US Dollar index (DXY) which measures the value of the USD against a basket of currencies, is threatening to break up through its 2018 high of 92.64, peaking earlier this morning at 92.57.

The USD pulled back from its highs after this morning’s US economic data releases disappointed. The ISM reported its Purchasing Managers' Index dropped to 57.3 in April from 59.3 in March. Economists had expected the index to inch down to 58.3. Construction spending confounded economists who had forecast spending to increase by 0.5% in March, with the Commerce Department reporting spending fell by 1.7% to an annual rate of $1.285 trillion.

The GBP is the worst performing of the G10 currencies as once again their economic data disappointed. Last night survey data from IHS Markit showed UK manufacturing activity expanded at the slowest pace in 17 months in April. The Purchasing Managers' Index which had been expected to edge down to 54.8 from a 5.9 reading in March plummeted to 53.9 leading to a sharp fall in the pound.

Yesterday’s RBA monetary policy statement held few surprises and as such has had little effect on the NZDAUD cross rate. The key driver for the NZD will be this morning’s quarterly employment report. Economists are forecasting unemployment to edge down to 4.4% from 4.5% in Q4, while the Labour Cost Index is expected to inch up by 0.5% following a 0.4% increase in Q4.

Tomorrow mornings FOMC statement will be released at 6:00am.

Global equity markets are mixed- Dow -0.65%, S&P 500 -0.20%, FTSE +0.15%, DAX Closed CAC Closed, Nikkei +0.18%, Shanghai +0.23%.

Gold prices are down 1.0%, trading at $1,305 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices are sharply lower down 2.2% overnight currently trading at $67.14 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.6995 -0.6%
NZDAUD 0.9351 0.0%
NZDEUR 0.5833 0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5138 0.5%
NZDJPY 76.83 -0.1%
AUDUSD 0.7483 -0.6%
AUDGBP 0.5499 0.5%
AUDEUR 0.6242 0.2%
AUDJPY 82.21 -0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0699 0.0%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7039 (mid-rate) this morning.

The USD strengthened further overnight as the Core PCE index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure, printed in line with economists’ forecasts. Consumer prices as measured by the personal consumption expenditures increased 2.0% y/y in March, its largest gain since February 2017, and follows on from a 1.7% rise in February 2018.

The US Commerce Department reported personal income rose by 0.3% in March just shy of the forecast 0.4% increase while personal spending increased by 0.4% for the same month, matching economists' estimates.

Germany's retail sales unexpectedly declined in March, with Destatis reporting sales fell 0.6% m/m in March confounding economists who had expected sales to increase by 0.8%. The negative report was countered by Germany's consumer price inflation which rose 1.6% y/y in April, matching the March result. Economists had forecast the rate to drop to 1.5%.

The NZDAUD cross rate will be dictated by the tone of this afternoons RBA rate statement. The RBA which recently signalled to the market that the next move in interest rates was likely to be a hike, will have been disappointed by last week’s Q1 inflation report which fell short of expectations, and has dampened investor hopes of a “hawkish” statement.

Global equity markets are mixed- Dow -0.21%, S&P 500 -0.51%, FTSE +0.09%, DAX +0.25%, CAC +0.68%, Nikkei Closed, Shanghai Closed.

Gold prices are little changed, down 0.2%, trading at $1,318 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices are up 1% overnight currently trading at $68.65 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7039 -0.6%
NZDAUD 0.9351 0.0%
NZDEUR 0.5825 -0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5114 -0.5%
NZDJPY 76.87 -0.5%
AUDUSD 0.7528 -0.6%
AUDGBP 0.5471 -0.5%
AUDEUR 0.6232 -0.3%
AUDJPY 82.28 -0.4%
AUDNZD 1.0699 0.0%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7082 (mid-rate) this morning.

US economic growth continues to slow, but not as fast as economists had predicted. On Friday the Commerce Department announced GDP increased by 2.3% in Q1 following on from a 2.9% jump in Q4. Economists had forecast Q1 GDP to slow to 2.0%.

Consumer Sentiment in the US deteriorated by less than initially forecast in the month of April, with the University of Michigan reporting their sentiment index fell to 98.8 in April after recording a reading of 101.4 in March. Earlier in the month economists had predicted the index to fall to 98.0.

The British Pound weakened further on Friday after both Q1 GDP and consumer sentiment fell short of economists’ forecasts. The Office for National Statistics reported Gross domestic product grew only 0.1% in Q1 after expanding 0.4% in Q4. GDP had been expected to rise by 0.3%, while the consumer sentiment index, which had been expected to remain at -7 fell to -9 in April.

The main domestic driver for the NZD this week will be Wednesday’s quarterly employment report while on the international front both the RBA and the Federal Reserve are expected to keep their OCR’s unchanged with the tone of their statements set to dictate direction.

Global equity markets with the exception of the Dow pushed higher on Friday, - Dow -0.05%, S&P 500 -0.11%, FTSE +1.09%, DAX +0.64%, CAC +0.54%, Nikkei +0.66%, Shanghai +0.23%.

Gold prices edged higher on Friday up 0.4%, closing out the week at $1,321 an ounce down 1.1% on the week. WTI Crude Oilprices inched lower on Friday, down 0.4% to close out the week at $67.98 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7082 0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9351 0.0%
NZDEUR 0.5841 0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5141 1.3%
NZDJPY 77.25 0.0%
AUDUSD 0.7575 0.3%
AUDGBP 0.5499 1.4%
AUDEUR 0.6248 0.2%
AUDJPY 82.61 0.0%
AUDNZD 1.0695 0.1%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7148 (mid-rate) this morning.

Commodity currencies including the NZD have declined amid broad USD strength on the back of rising US bond yields. The 10-Year US Treasury note threatened to break through 3% overnight topping out at 2.996%, its highest level in four years.

This morning the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported existing home sales in the US increased well ahead of expectations in the month of March. Following on from a 3.0% increase in sales in February, NAR announced sales were up a further 1.1% in March. Economists had expected existing home sales to inch up by 0.2%

There was better news for the EUR overnight with results from IHS Markit showing both French and German private sector growth expanded at a faster pace than forecast in April. France’s composite output index rose to 56.9 in April from 56.3 in March (exp 55.9) while Germany’s unexpectedly increased to 55.3 in April up from 55.1 in March (exp 54.8)

The highlight of our trading day ahead of tomorrow’s ANZAC day holiday will be the Australian quarterly inflation data release due out at 13:30. Economists are forecasting CPI to increase by 0.5%, with the trimmed mean (excludes the most volatile 30% of items) also expected to increase by 0.5%.

Global equity markets remain mixed- Dow -0.25%, S&P 500 -0.22%, FTSE +0.42%, DAX +0.25%, CAC +0.48%, Nikkei -0.33%, Shanghai -0.11%

Gold prices are down 0.8%, trading at $1,323 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices are holding steady at $68.27 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7148 -0.9%
NZDAUD 0.9403 0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5856 -0.4%
NZDGBP 0.5131 -0.3%
NZDJPY 77.67 -0.1%
AUDUSD 0.7601 -0.9%
AUDGBP 0.5452 -0.7%
AUDEUR 0.6228 -0.4%
AUDJPY 82.59 -0.2%
AUDNZD 1.0635 0.0%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7215 (mid-rate) this morning.

The USD outperformed on Friday as US treasuries extended their move to the downside. Yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, rose by 3.7 basis points to 2.951% on Friday and now sits at four-year highs, as investors position their books for further interest rate hikes.

After hitting a 14-month low of 1.8% in February, Germany’s producer price inflation inched up to 1.95 in March. This was the first rise in six months. Economists had forecast the index to rise to 2.0%.

The British pound extended its fall on Friday after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney acknowledged that the recent economic data had been soft and that “Brexit uncertainty acts as a dampener to a pickup in business development.” Mr Carney went on to say that although an interest rate hike is “likely” this year economic decisions over the course of the next few years would depend upon the deal that the UK reach with the EU.

There is very little in the way of domestic data this week, while on the international front monetary policy statements out of both the ECB and the BOJ along with advanced Q1 GDP out of the US will be the main focus for investors.

Global equity markets closed out the week mixed on Friday, - Dow -0.82%, S&P 500 -0.85%, FTSE +0.54%, DAX -0.21%, CAC +0.39%, Nikkei -0.13%, Shanghai -1.47%.

Gold prices slipped lower on Friday down 0.7%, closing out the week at $1,334 an ounce, WTI Crude Oil prices spiked to $70 a barrel on Friday, but retraced the move after President Trump blasted OPEC for trying to artificially boost prices.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7212 -0.8%
NZDAUD 0.9395 -0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5877 -0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5148 0.2%
NZDJPY 77.72 -0.4%
AUDUSD 0.7672 -0.8%
AUDGBP 0.5488 0.0%
AUDEUR 0.6255 -0.1%
AUDJPY 82.75 -0.4%
AUDNZD 1.0638 0.0%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7268 (mid-rate) this morning.

A combination of broad USD strength along with a pull pack in our annualised inflation has seen the NZD underperform overnight.

The GBP is the worst performing of the G10 currencies with weaker than expected retail sales adding further downward pressure on the currency following a disappointing inflation report. Retail sales for the month of March fell 1.2% m/m after increasing 0.8% in February. Sales were expected to decline by 0.6%.

US economic data releases with the exception of the Philadelphia manufacturing index printed in line with expectations. The Philly Fed reported its manufacturing index edged higher with a reading of 23.2 in April up from 22.3 in March. Economists had expected the index to fall to 20.1.

US equity markets are down and bond prices are under pressure as yield on the ten-year note increased to 2.914%, up 4.7 basis points. This is the highest closing level in almost two months when yields hit a multi-year high.

A lack of economic data during our trading day should see currencies trade tight ranges heading into the weekend.

Global equity markets are mixed - Dow -0.43%, S&P 500 -0.77%, FTSE +0.16%, DAX -0.19%, CAC +0.21%, Nikkei +0.15%, Shanghai +0.84%.

Gold prices have edged lower, down 0.2% trading at $1,344 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices are back at $68.25 a barrel, having spiked as high as $69.50 overnight.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7268 -1.0%
NZDAUD 0.9401 -0.5%
NZDEUR 0.5885 -0.8%
NZDGBP 0.5158 0.4%
NZDJPY 78.07 -0.6%
AUDUSD 0.7732 -0.5%
AUDGBP 0.5488 1.0%
AUDEUR 0.6261 -0.4%
AUDJPY 83.05 -0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0637 0.5%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7321 (mid-rate) this morning.

All eyes this morning will be our Q1 inflation report due to hit the tapes at 10:45am. Markets are forecasting for inflation to rise 0.4% up from 0.1% in Q4. More importantly the annualised rate of inflation is expected to fall from 1.6% to 1.1% for the first quarter. Although the fall is likely to be largely due to changes to the tertiary education fees by the Labour Government, the RBNZ will not like to see inflation so close to the bottom end of its 1% to 3% target.

The GBP underperformed with the Office for National Statistics reporting inflation in the UK slowed to a one year-low in March. Inflation which had been forecast to remain unchanged at 2.7% pulled back to 2.5% its lowest level since March 2017. Core inflation which excludes food, energy, alcohol and tobacco also slowed to 2.3% down from 2.4% in February.

As widely expected the Bank of Canada held its interest rate at 1.25%, but with the Governing Council announcing that it remained "cautious with respect to future policy adjustments," the CAD came under pressure. BOC governor Stephen Poloz went on to say that the bank will be guided by incoming data and that although higher interest rates will be warranted over time, “some monetary policy accommodation will still be needed to keep inflation on target."

Further direction for the NZD AUD cross rate will be driven by this afternoon’s Australian report. Forecasts are for the Australian economy to have added 20,300 new jobs during the March month with unemployment to tick down to 5.5% from 5.6%

Global equity markets push higher - Dow +0.05%, S&P 500 +0.05%, FTSE +1.26%, DAX +0.04%, CAC +0.50%, Nikkei +1.42%, Shanghai +0.80%.

Gold prices are little changed, trading at $1,350 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have rebounded, down 2.9% to $68.21 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7321 -0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9408 -0.4%
NZDEUR 0.5912 -0.4%
NZDGBP 0.5155 0.4%
NZDJPY 78.48 -0.1%
AUDUSD 0.7783 0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5478 0.8%
AUDEUR 0.6288 0.1%
AUDJPY 83.44 0.3%
AUDNZD 1.0632 0.4%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7342 (mid-rate) this morning.

Global equity markets are trending upwards with sentiment improving as tensions in Syria abate, but there has been little reaction in currency markets which continue to trade sideways.

The USD has made small gains against the majors helped higher on the back of better-than-expected housing and industrial production data releases.

The US Commerce Department released a report showing housing starts rose 1.9% in March after plunging 3.3% in February, with building permits also spiking higher, up 2.5% in March following a 4.1% fall in February.

Following on from a 1.0% lift in February, industrial production increased by 0.5% in March, just ahead of the forecast 0.4% reading.

This morning’s Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction resulted in a 2.7% increase in the index, with whole milk powder prices up 0.9% and skimmed milk powder prices rising 3.6%. A total of 19,262MT of product sold under the hammer.

German economic confidence declined sharply in April, with the ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment plummeting to -8.2 in April from +5.1 in March. The fall was far greater than expected, with economists predicting a score of -1.

The UK unemployment rate fell to a new all-time-low in the three months to February with the Office for National Statistics report showing unemployment now sits at 4.2% down from 4.3% in the three months to January. Average weekly earnings increased by 2.8% for the same period following a 3% rise in the three months to January. Economists had expected another 3% increase.

Once again there is very little in the way of economic data during our trading day but overnight inflation data out of the UK along with the bank of Canada monetary policy statement (the BOC are expected to keep the OCR unchanged} should prove to be the highlights.

Global equity markets are broadly higher - Dow +0.75%, S&P 500 +1.01%, FTSE +0.39%, DAX +1.57%, CAC +0.76%, Nikkei +0.06%, Shanghai -1.41%.

Gold prices are unchanged, trading at $1,347 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices are little changed, down 0.2% to $66.29 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7342 -0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9445 -0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5935 -0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5135 0.0%
NZDJPY 78.55 -0.4%
AUDUSD 0.7774 -0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5436 0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6283 0.0%
AUDJPY 83.15 -0.2%
AUDNZD 1.0587 0.1%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7345 (mid-rate) this morning.

A rebound in US retail sales in March has seen US equity markets push higher but has had little effect on the currency.

Following on from three consecutive monthly declines the US Commerce Department reported retail sales rebounded in March. With auto sales leading the way sales were up 0.6%, economists had expected a 0.4% increase. Core sales which exclude automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services increased by 0.2%, in line with expectations.

The Empire State Manufacturing Index declined more than expected in April with the New York Fed reporting the index fell to 15.8 in April down from 22.5 in March and well below the forecast 18.6 reading. The fall was brought about by decreases in both shipment and new order growth.

US homebuilder confidence edged lower in April with the National Association of Home Builders reporting the index dipped to 69, down from 70 in March. The index had been expected to remain unchanged.

Direction during our trading day will be dictated by this afternoons China GDP data release, while the RBA meeting minutes is expected to hold few surprises and should have little effect on the NZDAUD cross

rate.

Global equity markets are mixed - Dow +1.00%, S&P 500 +0.94%, FTSE -0.91%, DAX -0.41%, CAC -0.04%, Nikkei +0.26%, Shanghai -1.53%.

Gold prices are little changed, trading at $1,347 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have pulled back from 3-year highs, down 1.4% to $66.39 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7355 0.0%
NZDAUD 0.9459 -0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5943 -0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5135 -0.5%
NZDJPY 78.83 -0.3%
AUDUSD 0.7779 0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5431 -0.3%
AUDEUR 0.6284 -0.2%
AUDJPY 83.28 -0.4%
AUDNZD 1.0572 0.1%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7358 (mid-rate) this morning.

Markets were subdued on Friday with an absence of tier one economic data and growing concerns over the situation in Syria keeping investors on the side lines.

Markets were closed, and have so far shown little reaction to the news that the defence forces of the US, UK and France, jointly launched a military attack targeting Syria's chemical weapons capabilities.

On Friday the University of Michigan released its preliminary reading on the consumer sentiment index for April. The reading which had been expected to edge down to 100.5 from March’s final reading of 101.4 (a fourteen year high) came in at a disappointing 97.8.

Germany's consumer price inflation printed in line with expectations, with the Destatis report showing Inflation rose to 1.6% in March up from 1.4% in February.

The domestic highlight for the NZD week will be Thursday’s quarterly inflation report, with economists currently predicting Q1 CPI will increase by 0.5% q/q.

Global equity markets closed out the week mixed on Friday, - Dow -0.50%, S&P 500 -0.28%, FTSE +0.09%, DAX +0.22%, CAC +0.11%, Nikkei +0.55%, Shanghai -0.66%.

Gold prices pushed higher on Friday up 0.7% closing out the week at $1,345 an ounce, WTI Crude Oil prices edged higher on Friday, closing out the week at $67.33 a barrel, for a weekly gain of 8%.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7358 -0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9465 -0.5%
NZDEUR 0.5962 -0.4%
NZDGBP 0.5162 -0.5%
NZDJPY 79.09 0.0%
AUDUSD 0.7772 0.2%
AUDGBP 0.5448 -0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6295 0.1%
AUDJPY 83.58 0.5%
AUDNZD 1.0565 0.5%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7381 (mid-rate) this morning.

The Kiwi marched higher overnight against all the major currencies except the GBP, as tensions around Syria eased, and risk appetite improved.

The NZDUSD has traded a 121 point or 1.66% range this week, with a breach of 0.7400 imminent. Above that the January 24th and February 16th high of 0.7437 forms a double top and a near term resistance target. The 200 moving day average is at 0.7180

The European Central Bank Monetary Policy Makers met last month and discussed the potentially harmful impact of the Euro’s strength and other risks from the U.S. trade wars, the minutes of the meeting showed.

As the ECB reduce their bond buying program, which depressed borrowing costs, kick started growth and aided the threat of deflation, investors are wondering what the full impact from the trade war with the U.S and China will be, and how that will affect the ECB’s exit plan. The near 2% inflation target for the ECB will undershoot as inflation will remain weak for probably years to come.

Euro area Industrial Production unexpectedly declined for the third consecutive month, continuing the run of softer activity data from the region. Euro area Industrial Production fell 0.8%when the market was expecting an increase of 0.1%

New applications for U.S. Unemployment benefits fell last week, pointing to sustained labour market strength despite a sharp slowdown in job growth in March. U.S. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 9k to a seasonally adjusted 233k for the week ended April 7.

U.S. Import Prices were flat in March, below expectation for a 0.2% increase, and following a 0.3% increase from February. U.S. Export Prices were 0.3% higher in March after rising 0.2% in February and 0.8% in January.

Overnight data tonight includes US preliminary University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment and Inflation expectations, and Euro Trade Balance

Global equity are higher except Asia: Dow +1.48%, S&P 500 +1.04%, FTSE +0.02%, DAX -+0.98%, CAC +0.59%, Nikkei -0.12%, Shanghai -0.12%.

Gold prices are down $12 or 0.9% trading at $1,336 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices continue to push higher, up 0.5% trading at $67.13 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7381 0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9514 0.3%
NZDEUR 0.5984 0.6%
NZDGBP 0.5186 -0.1%
NZDJPY 79.11 0.6%
AUDUSD 0.7756 -0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5451 -0.4%
AUDEUR 0.6289 0.2%
AUDJPY 83.15 0.3%
AUDNZD 1.0508 -0.3%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7358 (mid-rate) this morning.

Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East have capped risk appetite and helped push up oil prices to new 3-year highs.

Comments from President Trump saying that the US would respond to the provocation within days if not hours following the latest chemical weapons attack in Syria have overshadowed this morning’s economic data releases.

New Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell had his comments from last month confirmed overnight when the US inflation report failed to meet expectations. Mr Powell was quoted as saying that “there are no clear signs that inflation is accelerating” and this morning’s CPI data release for the month of March was testament to this.

Last night the US labour department reported consumer prices for the month of March edged down by 0.1% following a 0.2% rise in February, it is the first fall in consumer prices since May 2017. Economists had forecast consumer prices to come in unchanged.

The USD which had slipped lower following the inflation report is now retracing the move on the back of slightly “hawkish” FOMC meeting minutes, with all participants agreeing that “the outlook for the economy beyond the current quarter had strengthened in recent months”.

Both UK industrial production and manufacturing output for February disappointed. Industrial growth fell short of expectations with the Office for National Statistics report showing industrial output inched up 0.1% month on month, following on from January’s 1.3% increase, while manufacturing output which had been expected to increase by 0.2%, declined by 0.2%.

Global equity are broadly lower - Dow -0.50%, S&P 500 -0.15%, FTSE -0.13%, DAX -0.83%, CAC -0.56%, Nikkei -0.49%, Shanghai +0.56%.

Gold prices have pushed higher, up 0.7% trading at $1,348 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices continue to spike higher, up 2.1% trading at $66.81 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7358 -0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9482 -0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5951 -0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5189 -0.2%
NZDJPY 78.63 -0.5%
AUDUSD 0.7761 -0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5472 -0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6275 -0.2%
AUDJPY 82.89 -0.4%
AUDNZD 1.0543 0.1%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7373 (mid-rate) this morning.

Risk appetite improves as trade war concerns ease following comments from Chinese president Xi Jinping.

Late yesterday afternoon Chinese president Xi Jinping promised to open China’s economy further and lower import tariffs on products including cars fuelling optimism that a trade war between China and the US could be averted. Global equity markets along with commodity based currencies have rallied strongly on the news.

Producer prices in the U.S. for the month of March exceeded expectations with the Labour Department report showing the index rose by 0.3% after inching up by 0.2% in February. Economists had expected producer prices to edge up by 0.1 percent. A 2.2% rise in food prices was largely cancelled out by a 2.1% fall in energy prices.

Comments from ECB Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny saw the EUR strengthen against the majors. Mr Nowotny said that the central bank's asset purchase program would exit this year enabling the ECB to gradually hike the deposit rate. Mr Nowotny went on to say that it was too early to tell when the rate hike would be implemented.

Oil prices continue to surge higher with Saudi Arabia rumoured to be targeting oil prices at $80 a barrel in an effort to boost the valuation of its oil giant Aramco ahead of its IPO.

With little in the way of economic data during our trading day, investors will look to tonight’s US inflation report and tomorrow mornings FOMC meeting minutes for direction.

Global equity markets have started the week on the front foot - Dow +1.44%, S&P 500 +1.58%, FTSE +0.15%, DAX +0.17%, CAC +0.10%, Nikkei +0.51%, Shanghai +0.23%.

Gold prices have edged higher, up 0.3% trading at $1,336 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have surged higher, up 2.3% trading at $63.53 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7373 0.9%
NZDAUD 0.9494 0.0%
NZDEUR 0.5967 0.6%
NZDGBP 0.5201 0.6%
NZDJPY 79.05 1.3%
AUDUSD 0.7767 0.9%
AUDGBP 0.5478 0.6%
AUDEUR 0.6285 0.6%
AUDJPY 83.25 1.3%
AUDNZD 1.0533 0.0%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7308 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD is the strongest performing of the G10 currencies, pushing back above 73 US cents. The USD remains under pressure on the back of ongoing China US trade tensions and Friday’s disappointing non-farm-payroll result which has seen the Dollar Index (DXY) slip back below 90.

Overnight, Euro-zone investor confidence unexpectedly weakened with the Sentix index which had been expected to remain at 24.0 falling to 19.6 in April.

Germany's exports declined for the second consecutive month in February down 3.2% m/m following on from January’s 0.4% fall. The 3.2% fall was the largest since August 2015, and surprised economists who had forecast a 0.2% increase.

Yesterday afternoons Japanese economic data disappointed with both consumer confidence and current account data releases failing to meet expectations. Consumer confidence which had been expected to rise to 44.6 remained at 44.3, while February’s current account surplus fell 28.7% on year.

This morning’s business confidence data release should prove to be the highlight of our trading day while overnight tonight investors will look to the US PPI data for direction.

Global equity markets have started the week on the front foot - Dow +1.44%, S&P 500 +1.58%, FTSE +0.15%, DAX +0.17%, CAC +0.10%, Nikkei +0.51%, Shanghai +0.23%.

Gold prices have edged higher, up 0.3% trading at $1,336 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have surged higher, up 2.3% trading at $63.53 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7308 0.6%
NZDAUD 0.9495 0.3%
NZDEUR 0.5932 0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5172 0.4%
NZDJPY 78.05 0.6%
AUDUSD 0.7701 0.4%
AUDGBP 0.5448 0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6248 0.0%
AUDJPY 82.19 0.2%
AUDNZD 1.0533 -0.3%

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

The Kiwi has fallen against the majors except the Japanese Yen which is up 0.2% overnight. The NZDUSD has traded a 102 point or 1.42% range in this shortened week, and will remain soft going into the long weekend as traders square their positions.

Oil prices pared some of their earlier losses after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said crude supplies rose by 1.6 million barrels for the week ended March 23. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts had forecast a climb of 1 million barrels, while the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported a jump of 5.3 million barrels, according to sources.

The U.S. economy grew in the fourth quarter at a faster pace than last estimated, helped by an upward revision to household spending on services and a smaller drag from inventories, according to Commerce Department data released overnight.Gross domestic product grew at a 2.9% annualized rate, (est. 2.7%) revised from 2.5%

U.S. Consumer spending, biggest part of the economy, grew 4% (est. 3.8%) revised from 3.8%.

The U.S. international trade deficit was $75.4 billion in February, up $0.1 billion from $75.3 billion in January. Exports of goods for February were $136.5 billion, $2.9 billion more than January exports.

U.S. Wholesale inventories for February, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $626.7 billion, up 1.1% from January 2018, and were up 5.7% from February 2017.

U.S. Retail inventories for February, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $628.1 billion, up 0.4% from January 2018

Global equity markets are higher mixed: Dow +0.34%, S&P 500 +0.15%, FTSE +0.64%, DAX -0.25%, CAC +0.29%, Nikkei -1.34%, Shanghai -1.40%.

Gold prices have plummeted 1.4% or $19 trading at $1,325 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have also plummeted 1.4% over the past 24 hours, trading at $64.38 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7206 -0.9%
NZDAUD 0.9401 -0.5%
NZDEUR 0.5851 -0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5116 -0.4%
NZDJPY 76.98 0.2%
AUDUSD 0.7687 -0.6%
AUDGBP 0.7664 -0.4%
AUDEUR 0.6225 0.4%
AUDJPY 81.88 0.7%
AUDNZD 1.0634 0.5%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7297 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD is trading higher against all its rivals with risk appetite returning after news broke that the US and China have engaged in talks for refining access of US goods to China.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during a Fox News interview, stated "We're having very productive conversations” with China, and that he is "cautiously hopeful" a trade agreement can be reached. US equities rallied strongly on the news with the Dow currently up 2.0%.

The EUR strengthened overnight after ECB Governing Council Member Jens Weidmann said the ECB should begin policy normalization without any delay, and hopes for a rate hike around mid-2019 are "not completely unrealistic,". Mr Weidmann who also heads the Bundesbank was speaking at a conference at the Austrian Central Bank.

This morning FOMC Member Loretta Mester is due to speak about the economic outlook and monetary policy at Princeton University while overnight tonight US consumer confidence index is expected to nudge up to 131.2 in March a slight increase from February’s 130.8 reading.

Global equity markets are mixed - Dow +1.84%, S&P 500 +1.50%, FTSE -0.48%, DAX -0.83%, CAC -0.57%, Nikkei +0.72%, Shanghai -0.60%.

Gold prices are up 0.6% trading at $1,354 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices are down 0.5% over the past 24 hours, trading at $65.36 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7297 0.9%
NZDAUD 0.9434 0.5%
NZDEUR 0.5858 0.0%
NZDGBP 0.5127 0.2%
NZDJPY 76.77 1.4%
AUDUSD 0.7734 0.4%
AUDGBP 0.5435 -0.4%
AUDEUR 0.6209 -0.5%
AUDJPY 80.65 -1.1%
AUDNZD 1.0599 -0.5%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7232 (mid-rate) this morning.

Global equities were the big loser on Friday with major averages accelerating to the downside after President Trump confirmed tariffs on up to $60bn in annual Chinese imports. Trump went on to say that “China must pay for decades of unfairly acquiring American intellectual property.”

China in retaliation has said it will impose tariffs on up to $3 billion worth of U.S. goods sparking a major sell-off in equities with the Dow down 1.77% and the S&P 500 down 2.1% on the day, and down 5.7% and 6.5% respectively on the week.

With investors focusing on trade war concerns Friday’s US economic data releases had little effect on the dollar. For the record new home sales fell by 0.6% to an annual rate of 618k in February from an upwardly revised 622k in January. Economists had expected new home sales in February to increase to 623K from the previously reported 593k in January. US durable goods orders spiked by 3.1% in February reversing a 2.55 fall in January.

The week ahead will continue to be dominated by trade talks with the pick of the economic data releases being Thursday night’s final US Q4 GDP result which is expected to rise to 2.7% up from the previously reported 2.5%.

Global equity markets fell sharply on Friday, - Dow -1.77%, S&P 500 -2.09%, FTSE -0.44%, DAX -1.77%, CAC -1.39%, Nikkei -4.51%, Shanghai -3.39%.

Gold prices pushed higher on Friday as safe haven demand increased, closing out the week at $1,346 an ounce, WTI Crude Oil prices steadied on Friday, closing out the week at $65.71 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7232 0.1%
NZDAUD 0.9385 0.2%
NZDEUR 0.5858 -0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5116 -0.1%
NZDJPY 75.68 -0.9%
AUDUSD 0.7706 -0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5455 -0.2%
AUDEUR 0.6241 -0.4%
AUDJPY 80.65 -1.1%
AUDNZD 1.0655 -0.2%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7208 (mid-rate) this morning.

As widely expected the Federal Reserve has raised rates for the first time in 2018 and signalled that at least two further hikes are coming before the end of the year.

New Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell announced that the central bank now sees the benchmark rate at 2.9% in 2019 and 3.4% in 2020 up from 2.7% and 3.1% respectively. The 10yr Bond yield has pushed up from 2.87% prior announcement to 2.92%.

“The economic outlook has strengthened in recent months,” with officials also repeating previous language that they anticipate “further gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy”.

The vote to raise the federal funds rate target range to 1.5% to 1.75% was a unanimous 8-0. The quarterly forecasts showed that policymakers were divided over the outlook for the benchmark interest rate in 2018. Seven officials projected at least four quarter-point hikes would be appropriate this year, while eight expected three or fewer increases to be warranted.

Wage growth in the UK accelerated at the fastest pace in more than two years during the three months to January Average earnings excluding bonuses grew 2.6% year-on-year in the three months to January, which was the fastest pace since November 2016, when regular pay rose 2.7%.

he Reserve Bank today left the Official Cash Rate (OCR) unchanged at 1.75 percent.

Global equity markets are mixed - Dow +0.45%, S&P 500 +0.31%, FTSE -0.32%, DAX +0.01%, CAC -0.24%, Nikkei -0.47%, Shanghai -0.29%.

Gold prices are up 0.8% trading at $1,322 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices continue to spike, up 2.0% over the past 24 hours, trading at $64.72 a barrel


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7208 0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9305 -0.5%
NZDEUR 0.5858 -0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5107 -0.5%
NZDJPY 76.71 0.2%
AUDUSD 0.7746 0.8%
AUDGBP 0.5488 -0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6292 0.4%
AUDJPY 82.41 0.7%
AUDNZD 1.0743 0.5%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7192 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD is the weakest performing G10 currency coming under pressure after the spread between the New Zealand and US 10-year government bond yields turned negative for the first time since records began back in the mid-1990s.

Earlier this morning the latest Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction resulted in another fall in dairy prices with the index down 1.25 following on from the previous 0.6% fall a fortnight ago. Whole Milk Powder was the only product to increase edging up 0.1%, while skimmed milk prices suffered the largest fall down 8.6%. Volumes were also down with 18,365MT’s selling at this morning’s auction down from 19,292 MT’s at the last event.

The USD has risen against all its rivals overnight as investors position their books ahead of tomorrow morning’s FOMC meeting. The Fed is widely expected to hike its benchmark by 25 basis points to 1.75% from the current 1.50%. Direction is likely to be driven by the following press conference and any revision to the Fed's dot-plot forecasts which showed three rate hikes for 2018 at the December meeting.

Overnight the ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany plummeted sharply in March with the index falling to 5.1 down 12.7pts from 17.8 in February. The fall was a direct result of global trade concerns following Trump’s announcement of possible tariffs.

A slowdown in UK inflation in February with consumer prices rising by an annual rate of 2.7% (exp 2.8%) and down from 3.0% in January has had little effect on the British pound, which continues to benefit from yesterday’s Brexit transition agreement.

Global equity markets are broadly higher - Dow +0.40%, S&P 500 +0.10%, FTSE +0.26%, DAX +0.74%, CAC +0.57%, Nikkei -0.47%, Shanghai +0.35%.

Gold prices have edged down 0.5% trading at $1,311 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have risen sharply, up 2.2% over the past 24 hours, trading at $63.47 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7192 -0.7%
NZDAUD 0.9352 -0.5%
NZDEUR 0.5864 0.0%
NZDGBP 0.5135 -0.5%
NZDJPY 76.52 -0.2%
AUDUSD 0.7688 -0.2%
AUDGBP 0.5491 0.0%
AUDEUR 0.6269 0.4%
AUDJPY 81.81 0.3%
AUDNZD 1.0689 0.5%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7241 (mid-rate) this morning.

The GBP has been the strongest performing currency over the past 24 hours, advancing against all its rivals following reports that the European Union and the UK have reached a post-Brexit transitional deal.

The deal will enable the UK to continue its European membership and retain the benefits of the single market and customs union until the end of 2020.

In order to reach this agreement the UK has had to accept defeat on a series of demands, including accepting a “back stop” plan of keeping Northern Ireland under EU law to avoid a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.

A Reuters media report suggesting that ECB policy makers have moved their debate to the course of rate hike in 2019 and are of the view that QE program should end this year, has helped support a stronger EUR.

The Eurostat Euro-zone trade balance report showed the trade surplus declined to a three-month low in January with exports declining amid an increase in imports. The trade surplus for January fell to EUR 19.9B down from EUR 23.2B in December. Economists had expected the surplus to edged down to EUR 22.6B.

This morning’s Westpac consumer sentiment data should have little effect on the currency, while overnight tonight the latest GDT auction is expected to show another small fall in dairy prices.

Global equity markets are mixed - Dow -0.42%, S&P 500 +0.01%, FTSE -0.13%, DAX +0.58%, CAC +0.04%, Nikkei +1.65%, Shanghai +0.59%.

Gold prices have edged down 0.5% trading at $1,320 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have fallen sharply, down 1.4% over the past 24 hours, trading at $61.18 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7241 0.4%
NZDAUD 0.9397 0.5%
NZDEUR 0.5865 -0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5159 -0.4%
NZDJPY 76.69 0.4%
AUDUSD 0.7706 -0.2%
AUDGBP 0.5489 -0.9%
AUDEUR 0.6241 -0.6%
AUDJPY 81.59 -0.2%
AUDNZD 1.0639 -0.4%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7215 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD along with the AUD continues to underperform with ongoing concerns over US trade policy weighing on sentiment.

On Friday an unexpected downward revision to Euro-zone inflation will make it very difficult for the ECB to end its bond-buying program and raise its interest rate. The data release showed inflation for the month of February at 1.1% down from an earlier estimate of 1.2% and well below the ECB’s goal of just under 2%.

US consumer sentiment and industrial production both printed ahead of expectations countering a very poor housing starts data release. The University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment report for March has the index at 102.0 up from February’s final reading of 99.7 and well ahead of the expected 99.3 reading. US industrial production for February surged 1.1% following a downwardly revised 0.3% fall in January. Economists had expected production to increase by 0.3%. Countering these better than expected data releases was an unexpected sharp pullback in new residential construction during February, with the Commerce Department report showing housing starts fell by 2.7% from January’s final reading.

The week ahead will be dominated by Thursday’s FOMC meeting with new Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell widely expected to raise its benchmark interest rate. As of this morning the market is pricing in 95% of an expected 0.25% hike.

Global equity markets closed out the week mixed, - Dow +0.29%, S&P 500 +0.17%, FTSE +0.34%, DAX -0.07%, CAC +0.36%, Nikkei -0.58%, Shanghai -0.65%.

Gold prices edged lower on Friday, down 0.4% closing out the week at $1,313 an ounce, WTI Crude Oil prices pushed higher on Friday, up 1.9%, on the day to close out the week back above $62.00 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7215 -0.8%
NZDAUD 0.5872 -0.5%
NZDEUR 0.5903 -0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5178 -0.7%
NZDJPY 76.41 -0.9%
AUDUSD 0.7719 -1.1%
AUDGBP 0.5538 -1.0%
AUDEUR 0.6281 -0.8%
AUDJPY 81.72 -1.2%
AUDNZD 1.0687 -0.4%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7274 (mid-rate) this morning.

The Kiwi fell after yesterday morning’s NZ GDP printed at 0.6% which was lower than the 0.8% market consensus. The NZDUSD has traded an 84 point or 1.16% range this week but is down from Tuesday’s 0.7354 high.

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 –0.75%and the target range for the three-month Libor is unchanged at between –1.25% and –0.25%. Since the last monetary policy assessment in December, the Swiss franc has appreciated slightly overall on the back of the weaker US dollar.

Business activity grew robustly in New York State, according to firms responding to the March 2018 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index climbed nine points to 22.5. The strongest readings were for the new orders index which rose to 16.8 and the shipments index which advanced to 27.0

Results from the March Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey suggest continued growth for the region’s manufacturing sector. The survey’s index for general activity moderated from 25.8 in February to 22.3 this month.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week, pointing to sustained labour strength even as economic growth appears to have slowed early in the first quarter. In the week ending March 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted U.S. Initial Claims was 226,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 1,000 from 231,000 to 230,000. The 4-week moving average was 221,500, a decrease of 750 from the previous week's revised average.

Global equity markets are higher except the S&P 500 and China: Dow 0.59%, S&P 500 -0.10%, FTSE +0.10%, DAX +0.88%, CAC +0.65%, Nikkei +0.12%, Shanghai -0.01%.

Gold prices are down 0.5% or $6 currently trading at $1,318 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices rallied another 0.7% currently trading at $61.27 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7274 -0.8%
NZDAUD 0.9321 0.2%
NZDEUR 0.5903 -0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5212 -0.6%
NZDJPY 77.13 -1.0%
AUDUSD 0.7801 -1.0%
AUDGBP 0.5592 -0.9%
AUDEUR 0.6333 -0.6%
AUDJPY 82.75 -1.2%
AUDNZD 1.0727 -0.2%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7341 (mid-rate) this morning.

The Kiwi is the best performer of the G10 currencies overnight, setting a 2 week high against the USD, and rallying strongly against the Canadian Dollar and the Japanese Yen

U.S. Consumer Prices continued to firm in February, indicating inflation is creeping up toward the Federal Reserve's target without the kind of breakout that would warrant a faster pace of interest-rate hikes. Both the main consumer price index and the core gauge, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.2 percent from January, matching the median estimates of economists.

The U.S. CPI was up 2.2% in the 12 months through February, compared with 2.1% in January, while the core index increased 1.8% from a year earlier for a third month. That’s in line with policy makers’ outlook for price gains steadily approaching their goal and officials’ projection for three quarter-point interest-rate hikes this year, including one anticipated at the Fed’s meeting next week.

UK’s annual budget release overnight showed the UK has lifted its 2018 economic growth forecast to 1.5%, and inflation falling to the Bank of England target with a year.

China is merging its banking and insurance regulators, giving new powers to policymaking bodies such as the central bank and creating new ministries in the biggest government shake-up in years. The revamp is a cornerstone of President Xi Jinping’s agenda to put the leadership of the ruling Communist Party squarely at the heart of policy with Xi himself at the core of the party. The economy and the party have become ever more intertwined since a party congress in October when Xi consolidated his grip on power, with party control deemed necessary to help push through reforms.

Bank of Canada’s Governor’s Poloz stated overnight that recent data has been in line with the BOC’s outlook but he doesn’t know when interest rates may go up again. There has been an acceleration in wage growth consistent with the BOC’s framework. The CAD weakened 0.75% against the USD and 1.5% versus the NZD.

US President Trump fired Rex Tillerson as Secretary of Stateand announced Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA as his replacement. Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, the first woman to attain this position.

Global equity markets are lower except Japan: Dow -0.18%, S&P 500 -0.35%, FTSE -1.05%, DAX -1.59%, CAC -0.64%, Nikkei -+0.66%, Shanghai -0.49%.

Gold prices are up 0.5% or $7 currently trading at $1,327 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices fell 1.2% currently trading at $60.43 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7341 0.6%
NZDAUD 0.9323 0.7%
NZDEUR 0.5919 0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5251 0.2%
NZDJPY 78.23 0.8%
AUDUSD 0.7864 -0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5627 -0.6%
AUDEUR 0.6343 -0.7%
AUDJPY 83.84 0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0723 -0.6%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7297 (mid-rate) this morning.

A lack of economic data to drive direction has seen currency markets trade within tight ranges over the past 24 hours. The NZDUSD is holding close to the middle of its two month 0.7200 - 0.7400 range.

Investors are likely to await tonight’s US inflation data before adding to their positions. The monthly CPI data release is the last piece of the jigsaw and another strong number should all but insure the Federal Reserve hike rates next week. The market is currently pricing in 86% of the expected 0.25% hike.

The highlight for the NZD today will be RBNZ Governor Grant Spencer's speech titled "Getting the best out of macro-prudential policy" due for release at 12:45 this afternoon.

Global equity markets are mixed - Dow -0.42%, S&P 500 +0.01%, FTSE -0.13%, DAX +0.58%, CAC +0.04%, Nikkei +1.65%, Shanghai +0.59%.

Gold prices have edged down 0.5% trading at $1,320 an ounce.WTI Crude Oil prices have fallen sharply, down 1.4% over the past 24 hours, trading at $61.18 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7297 0.1%
NZDAUD 0.9262 -0.2%
NZDEUR 0.5911 -0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5242 -0.4%
NZDJPY 77.63 -0.1%
AUDUSD 0.7875 0.3%
AUDGBP 0.5662 -0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6385 0.2%
AUDJPY 83.78 0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0769 0.5%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7291 (mid-rate) this morning.

Stronger than expected job growth in the US failed to boost the USD with investors concerned over the slowdown in pace of wage growth. Friday’s labour department report showed non-farm payroll employment increased up by 313k jobs in February following on from an upwardly revised 239k jobs in January. Economists had expected employment to climb by 200k jobs, equalling the previously increase for January. Unfortunately for the USD the surge in jobs was countered by a pullback in the pace of wage growth which dipped to 2.6% in February from 2.8% in January. Unemployment also failed to meet expectations with the rate remaining at 4.1%, economists had expected the rate to edge down to 4%.

The EUR came under pressure late on Friday after the Destatis industrial production report showed Germany’s industrial production for January unexpectedly fell 0.1% m/m. the rate had been expected to increase by 0.7%.

As expected the Bank of Japan kept its monetary stimulus unchanged on Friday with board members once again voting to hold their target of raising the amount of outstanding JGB holdings at an annual pace of about JPY 80 trillion.

The key domestic driver for the NZD this week will be Thursday’sQ4 quarterly GDP report with the market currently expecting and increase of 0.8%.

Global equity markets closed for the week broadly higher, -Dow +1.77%, S&P 500 +1.73%, FTSE +0.30%, DAX -0.07%, CAC +0.39%, Nikkei +0.47%, Shanghai +0.57%.

Gold prices pushed higher on Friday, up 0.4% closing out the week at $1,326 an ounce, WTI Crude Oil prices pushed surged higher on Friday, up 2.6%, on the day to close out the week back above $62.00 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7291 0.5%
NZDAUD 0.9285 -0.5%
NZDEUR 0.5919 0.4%
NZDGBP 0.5261 0.1%
NZDJPY 77.69 0.9%
AUDUSD 0.7852 1.0%
AUDGBP 0.5666 0.6%
AUDEUR 0.6375 0.9%
AUDJPY 83.72 1.4%
AUDNZD 1.0769 0.5%

The NZDUSD opens lower at 0.7255 this morning.

The EUR fell, and USD strengthened, after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi indicated that any monetary policy normalisation would be very gradual as regional inflation remained subdued, despite faster euro-zone growth. These factors weighed on the NZDUSD.

Draghi was critical of President Trump’s plans to impose tariffs on some imported goods. However, the White House announced late Wednesday that Canada, Mexico and possibly other countries may be granted exemptions.

Tariffs and any potential trade war/retaliation concerns willcontinue to be a market focus. Any noticable increase in impediments to free trade would be a negative for the NZD, due to its leverage to commodity prices and global growth.

The all-important US non-farm payroll employment figures, a key measure of the U.S. economy, will be released overnight. These numbers will be closely analysed for further clues on the pace of U.S. interest rate hikes.

There is no data on the domestic calendar today.

Global equity markets were higher on the day – Dow -0.3%, S&P500 -0.1%, FTSE +0.6%, DAX +0.8%, CAC +1.3%, Nikkei +0.5%, Shanghai +0.5%.

Gold prices fell 0.4% to USD$1,321 an ounce. Oil prices (WTI) dropped -0.6% to USD$60.46 per barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7255 -0.4%
NZDAUD 0.9330 0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5894 0.5%
NZDGBP 0.5255 0.3%
NZDJPY 77.02 -0.1%
AUDUSD 0.7775 -0.5%
AUDGBP 0.5633 0.2%
AUDEUR 0.6319 0.4%
AUDJPY 82.55 -0.2%
AUDNZD 1.0715 -0.1%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7281 (mid-rate) this morning.

The Kiwi starts today lower against all its major trading partners except the CAD which is again testing significant resistance at 1.3000 versus the USD

The NZD drifted sideways during our trading day yesterday, but then rallied 70 points or almost 1% during the start of the US session. Major data releases overnight were the US Private Sector employment and US Trade Balance which were the catalysts for USD strength.

U.S. Private Sector Employment increased by 235,000 jobs from January to February according to the February ADP National Employment Report. The total again defied Wall Street expectations, as economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting payrolls to grow by 195,000. Growth actually decelerated slightly, as January posted an upwardly revised 244,000 from the initially reported 234,000.

The U.S. trade deficit increased to a more than nine-year high in January, with the shortfall with China widening sharply, suggesting that President Donald Trump’s “America First” trade policies are unlikely to have a material impact on the deficit. The Commerce Department reported the trade gap jumped 5.0% to $56.6 billion. That was the highest level since October 2008 and followed a slightly upwardly revised $53.9 billion shortfall in December. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade gap widening to $55.1 billion in January from a previously reported $53.1 billion in the prior month.

Canada's merchandise trade deficit totalled $1.9 billion in January, narrowing from a $3.1 billion deficit in December. Following a record high in December, total imports were down 4.3% in January to $47.7 billion, with declines in all commodity sections. Industrial machinery, equipment and parts, consumer goods, as well as electronic and electrical equipment and parts were the main contributors to the decline in January

The Bank of Canada overnight maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1.25%. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1.5% and the deposit rate is 1%. Global growth remains solid and broad-based. In the United States, new government spending and previously-announced tax cuts are anticipated to boost growth in 2018 and 2019.

Oil prices pared some of their losses overnight after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that domestic crude supplies rose by 2.4 million barrels for the week ended March 2. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts had forecast a climb of 2.5 million barrels, while the American Petroleum Instituteon Tuesday reported a rise of 5.7 million barrels, according to sources. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was down 2.7% from this time yesterday

Global equity markets are mixed: Dow -1.38%, S&P 500 -0.87%, FTSE +0.16%, DAX +1.09%, CAC +0.34%, Nikkei -0.77%, Shanghai -0.55%.

Gold prices are down 0.5% or $7 currently trading at $1,326 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices plummeted 2.7% currently trading at $60.85 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7281 -0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9322 -0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5864 -0.4%
NZDGBP 0.5237 -0.3%
NZDJPY 77.12 -0.5%
AUDUSD 0.7811 -0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5622 -0.2%
AUDEUR 0.6295 -0.2%
AUDJPY 82.75 -0.4%
AUDNZD 1.0724 0.1%

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

The GBP has been the strongest performing of the G10 currencies after the HIS market PMI report showed the UK service sector activity expanded at the fastest pace in four months in February. Following January's 53.0 reading the index spiked to 54.5 in February, well ahead of the forecast 53.3 result.

The CAD continues to underperform with the US wanting to renegotiate a "new and fair NAFTA agreement" and Trump's overnight tweet that “Canada must treat our farmers much better” added further downward pressure on the CAD.

Yesterday's Italian election failed to produce an outright winner and resulted in another hung parliament. The Eurosceptic 5-Star Movement gained 31.8% of the vote emerging as the largest single party, while the anti-migrant and Eurosceptic League, formerly known as the Northern League also performed far better than expected.

This morning's US non-manufacturing index edged down to 59.5 in February from 59.9 in January, the dip was less than expected with economists forecasting the index to pull back to 59.0.

In the absence of any NZ economic data investors will look across the ditch to the Australian retail sales and monetary policy statement for NZDAUD direction.

Global equity markets are broadly higher - Dow +0.77%, S&P 500 +0.71%, FTSE +0.66%, DAX +1.49%, CAC +0.60%, Nikkei -0.66%, Shanghai +0.07%.

Gold prices have edged down 0.2% trading at $1,319 an ounce.WTI Crude Oil prices have surged higher, up 2.2% over the past 24 hours, trading at $62.42 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7224 -0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9311 -0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5859 -0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5216 -0.6%
NZDJPY 76.71 0.2%
AUDUSD 0.7759 -0.2%
AUDGBP 0.5607 -0.4%
AUDEUR 0.6295 -0.1%
AUDJPY 82.38 0.3%
AUDNZD 1.0738 0.1%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7242 (mid-rate) this morning.

Global equity markets along with the USD continued to struggle on Friday with investors concerned that Donald Trump's plans to impose new tariffs on steel and aluminium imports will lead to a global trade war.

The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for February fell just short of its initial estimate of 99.9, recording a final reading of 99.7. The result showed sentiment in the US continues to improve with February’s reading up sharply from January’s 95.7 result.

As we await this morning's Italian election result the news that Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) have agreed to another coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives should support a stronger EUR. The Italian election result should be announced later this morning.

The week ahead will be dominated by central bank announcements with the RBA, ECB BOC and BOJ all due to release their latest monetary statements.

Global equity markets fell further on Friday, - Dow -0.29%, S&P 500 +0.50%, FTSE -1.47%, DAX -2.27%, CAC -2.39%, Nikkei -2.50%, Shanghai -0.59%.

Gold prices pushed higher on Friday, up 1.2% closing out the week at $1,322 an ounce, WTI Crude Oil prices edged higher on Friday, up 0.2%, on the day to $61.09 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7242 0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9321 -0.3%
NZDEUR 0.5872 -0.8%
NZDGBP 0.5247 -0.3%
NZDJPY 76.55 -0.8%
AUDUSD 0.7772 0.6%
AUDGBP 0.5625 -0.4%
AUDEUR 0.5632 0.1%
AUDJPY 82.11 -0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0728 0.4%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7221 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD is the best performer of the G10 Currencies overnight, gaining 1% against our neighbour the AUD.

The Kiwi had a brief flutter under the 0.7200 support yesterday afternoon, reaching a low of 0.7186, and not quite the Feb 8 low of 0.7175. This formed an upside down “V” in the hourly chart, with 0.7437 Feb 16 high as the top. The price action is still above the 200 day moving average which is also at 0.7175 forming a strong pivot point, and near term support as a double bottom.

The upturn in the UK manufacturing sector slowed further during February. At 55.2, the seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to an eight-month low and lost further ground after hitting a 51-month high last November. Manufacturing production increased at the slowest pace for 11 months in February, with decelerations seen across the consumer, intermediate and investment goods sectors.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, hitting the lowest level in more than 48 years, pointing to a rapidly tightening labour market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 210,000 for the week ended Feb. 24, the lowest level since December 1969.

U.S. Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in February, and the overall economy grew for the 106th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. The February PMI registered 60.8%, an increase of 1.7 percentage points from the January reading of 59.1%.

Fed Chairman Powell testified at the Semiannual Monetary Policy report before the Senate Banking Committee. While the hourly candle in the charts traded the biggest range in the past 24 hours at the time, the direction was unchanged as the Kiwi continued higher to 0.7253. Key takeaways were: "some continued strengthening on the labour market could take place without generating inflation", "fiscal policy will likely put upward pressure on inflation this year" "I expect to see more wage increases".

The catalyst of the Kiwi coming off its overnight highs was U.S. President Trump announcing he will place tariffs on steel and aluminium imports - a move that could trigger retaliation from trade partners who may target American products. The sign off will be next week. The USD strengthen 0.5% from there

Global equity markets are lower except China: Dow -1.32%, S&P 500 -0.97%, FTSE -0.78%, DAX -1.97%, CAC -1.09%, Nikkei -1.56%, Shanghai +0.44%.

Gold prices fell 0.9% or $12 currently trading at $1,306 an ounce.WTI Crude Oil prices plummeted 2.9% currently trading at $60.96 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7221 0.1%
NZDAUD 0.9353 1.0%
NZDEUR 0.5919 0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5262 0.5%
NZDJPY 77.15 0.2%
AUDUSD 0.7724 -0.8%
AUDGBP 0.5625 -0.4%
AUDEUR 0.6329 -0.8%
AUDJPY 82.16 -1.2%
AUDNZD 1.0689 -1.0%

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

The NZD has lost ground against most of the major currencies. The NZD/USD looks to test support at 0.7200 however the Kiwi gained against the GBP on Brexit updates.

This morning the EU released their draft treaty, and to the disappointment of UK Prime Minister Theresa May the Europeans have announced that Northern Ireland could remain part of the customs union, which puts a spanner in the works for the UK PM, who has already made it clear that Brexit will not split up the UK. The GBP weakened against the other majors particularly the JPY.

U.S. economic growth slowed slightly more than initially thought in Q4 as the strongest pace of consumer spending in three years drew in imports and depleted inventories. U.S. Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.5% annual rate in the final three months of 2017, instead of the previously reported 2.6% pace, the Commerce Department said in its second GDP estimate.

The U.S. Chicago Business Barometer fell 3.8 points to 61.9 in February, down from 65.7 in January, to the lowest level since August 2017. Business activity continued to expand in February, although at a softer pace than in January.

After seeing a modest three-month rise in activity, U.S. Pending Home Sales cooled considerably in January to their lowest level in over three years, according to the National Association of Realtors. All major regions experienced monthly and annual declines in contract signings last month. The Pending Home Sales Index fell 4.7% to 104.6 in January from a downwardly revised 109.8 in December 2017.

Oil futures traded lower overnight after data showed industrial activity in some of the world's major crude-consuming nations has softened. Traders said oil prices declined on concerns of a slowdown in the global economy after three out of the world's top consumers of crude — China, India and Japan — reported a slowdown in monthly factory activity.

In February 2018, the Swiss KOF Economic Barometer rose by 0.4 points to a new reading of 108.0 well above its long term average.

Global equity markets are lower except the US: Dow -0.01%, S&P 500 -+0.22%, FTSE -0.69%, DAX -0.44%, CAC -0.44%, Nikkei +1.44%, Shanghai -0.99%.

Gold prices gained 0.2% currently trading at $1,318 an ounce.WTI Crude Oil prices are down 0.8% trading at $62.76 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7214 -0.4%
NZDAUD 0.9262 -0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5909 -0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5234 0.6%
NZDJPY 76.99 -1.0%
AUDUSD 0.7788 -0.2%
AUDGBP 0.5650 0.8%
AUDEUR 0.6381 0.1%
AUDJPY 83.13 -0.8%
AUDNZD 1.0795 0.2%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7245 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD is the worst performer of the G10 currencies in the past 24 hours on a backdrop of broad USD strength after key data releases – US Core Durable Goods, CB Consumer Confidence and Fed Chair Powell’s Testimony.

The NZ Trade Balance was a $566m deficit which was wider than the $227m deficit in January 2017. The latest data is a big swing from December when the country recorded a trade surplus of $596m, the largest ever for a December month. Economists had been expecting exports and imports to cancel each other out in January for a net trade balance of zero.

Orders for business equipment at U.S. factories unexpectedly fell for a second month, a sign that demand is cooling from its hot pace in recent quarters. Excluding transportation-equipment demand, which is volatile, U.S. Durable Goods orders fell 0.3% in January (est. up 0.4%) after rising 0.7% in December.

The Conference Board U.S. Consumer Confidence Index increased in February, following a modest increase in January. The Index now stands at 130.8, up from 124.3 in January.

US Fed Chair Powell Testified to Congress in the semi-annual Monetary Policy Report. Powell downplayed concerns over recent market volatility, arguing Tuesday that the dramatic swings do not weigh heavily on his outlook for the economy and maintaining his expectation for further gradual increases in interest rates. In prepared congressional testimony, Powell emphasized that the job market remains robust, consumer spending is solid and wage growth is accelerating. He also highlighted gains in U.S. exports and stimulative fiscal policy as new "tailwinds" for the economy.

Global equity markets are lower except Japan: Dow -0.11%, S&P 500 -0.29%, FTSE -0.10%, DAX -0.29%, CAC -0.01%, Nikkei +1.07%, Shanghai -1.13%.

Gold prices fell 1.3% or $17 currently trading at $1,315 an ounce.WTI Crude Oil prices are down 1.2% trading at $63.28 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7245 -0.8%
NZDAUD 0.9274 -0.4%
NZDEUR 0.5916 -0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5201 -0.6%
NZDJPY 77.80 -0.5%
AUDUSD 0.7806 -0.5%
AUDGBP 0.5604 -0.2%
AUDEUR 0.6375 0.0%
AUDJPY 83.78 1.0%
AUDNZD 1.0771 0.3%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7305 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD is the best performer of the G10 currencies in the past 24 hours albeit with some modest gains. The NZDUSD has traded a 68 point or 0.93% range and opens above the 0.7300 support. The Kiwi today looks to start with a softer tone and to trend to the lower end of the channel range at 0.7250.

UK Card spending was 5.8% higher than in January 2017, although higher repayment levels meant that the pace of borrowing saw little change, growing at 4.8% annually.

UK Gross mortgage lending in January is estimated to have been £13.8bn, 7.7 % more than a year earlier and slightly above the monthly average of £21.4bn for 2017.

UK businesses' deposits grew by 7% in the past 12 months, while borrowing over the same period contracted slightly by 1.4 %. Within business sectors, manufacturers' borrowing expanded modestly, while construction and property-related sectors contracted.

ECB President Draghi spoke at a hearing of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament. He discussed the Euro Area inflation outlook and the main factors impacting the relationship between growth and inflation. The EUR fell initially but has since regained any lost ground to open just above the 1.2300 near term support.

U.S. sales of new homes unexpectedly fell in January to the lowest level since August as borrowing costs rose and winter weather depressed demand, according to government data released Monday. New Home Sales - Sales of new single-family houses in January 2018 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000, according to estimates released worse than the 655k expected.

Global equity markets are broadly higher: Dow +1.33%, S&P 500 +0.91%, FTSE +0.62%, DAX +0.35%, CAC +0.51%, Nikkei +1.19%, Shanghai +1.23%.

Gold prices are up 0.3% trading at $1,332 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have continued higher up 0.5% trading at $64.04 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7305 0.1%
NZDAUD 0.9311 0.2%
NZDEUR 0.5935 0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5231 0.3%
NZDJPY 78.18 0.4%
AUDUSD 0.7844 0.1%
AUDGBP 0.7845 0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6374 -0.1%
AUDJPY 82.96 -1.0%
AUDNZD 1.0737 -0.2%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7342 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD is little changed against the majors after yesterday morning's FOMC meeting minutes, with the Japanese Yen the stand out performer in the last 24 hours.

Immediately after the release of the Fed Minutes the market took a full 10 minutes to digest the contents, before the USD weakened 50 points in 15 minutes, posting a 0.7386 high. Then in about-face the NZD/USD fell 1% or 72 points over the next hour where it remained stagnated for the rest of the day.

In the week ending February 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 222,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week's revised level. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell to a near 45-year low last week, but claims for six states were estimated because of Monday's Presidents Day holiday. This data release was the catalyst for the NZD recovery to start today very similar to yesterday’s open.

Britain's economy grew at the weakest rate in 5 years, leaving the UK lagging further behind other major economies as it prepares to leave the EU. Q4 GDP estimate was 0.4% following an earlier estimate of 0.5% and missing economists’ forecasts that the rate would be unchanged.

European Central Bank policymakers meeting last month felt it was too early to change their communication stance to signal a normalisation of policy, even if confidence was growing that inflation would finally rise back to target, minutes showed. Discussion over tweaking the bank’s stance could still start early this year but policymakers concluded the bank needed to avoid abrupt adjustments and to keep a close eye on the euro's firming, according to the minutes published overnight.

Oil futures erased a small decline to turn higher overnight after the Energy Information Administration said crude stocks fell by 1.6 million barrels. A survey of analysts by The Wall Street Journal had produced an average estimate for a 1.9 million barrel rise.

Global equity markets are broadly higher: Dow +0.87%, S&P 500 +0.45%, FTSE -0.40%, DAX -0.07%, CAC +0.13%, Nikkei -1.07%, Shanghai +2.17%.

Gold prices are up 0.3% trading at $1,330 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have regained some of the losses earlier in the week now up 2.2% trading at $62.75 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7342 0.0%
NZDAUD 0.9359 -0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5955 -0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5259 0.0%
NZDJPY 78.43 -0.7%
AUDUSD 0.7844 0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5619 0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6363 0.1%
AUDJPY 83.78 -0.7%
AUDNZD 1.0683 0.1%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7344 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD is little changed against the majority of its rivals ahead of this morning’s FOMC meeting minutes.

The AUD is the worst performing of the G10 currencies, falling late yesterday afternoon following the release of their wage growth report. The headline number of a 0.6% increase was slightly ahead of the expected 0.5% rise, and equates to a 2.1% increase in wages in Q4, however private sector wage growth only increased by 1.9% compared to a 2.45 increase in the public sector and is struggling to keep pace with inflation.

As expected Euro-zone PMI data remains strong and although both the composite output index, and the purchasing managers' index fell just shy of their forecast readings they continue to expand at a solid pace.

The overnight US data sent mixed signals to investors with both manufacturing and services PMI data releases printing ahead of estimates while existing home sales in January surprised economists, falling 3.2% to an annual rate of 5.38m from a downwardly revised 5.56m in December. Economists had expected sales to increase to 5.61m from December’s previously reported 5.57m.

Global equity markets are broadly higher - Dow +0.38%, S&P 500 +0.58%, FTSE +0.48%, DAX -0.14%, CAC +0.23%, Nikkei +0.21%, Shanghai Closed.

Gold prices are down 0.5% trading at $1,326 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have fallen further, currently down 1.3% trading at $61.37 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7344 -0.1%
NZDAUD 0.9371 0.7%
NZDEUR 0.5958 0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5261 0.2%
NZDJPY 79.01 0.3%
AUDUSD 0.7836 -0.8%
AUDGBP 0.5615 -0.4%
AUDEUR 0.6359 -0.5%
AUDJPY 84.34 0.4%
AUDNZD 1.0671 -0.6%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7348 (mid-rate) this morning.

For the first time in 2018 and breaking three consecutive rises in global dairy prices, this morning’s GDT auction resulted in a marginal fall in the price index. Volumes also dipped with 20,256MT of products selling at this morning’s auction down from 22,197MT at the previous event. Whole milk powder (WMP) prices edged up 0.3% to an average price of US$3,246/MT, however skimmed milk powder prices fell sharply, down 3% to an average price of US$1,832/MT.

Germany's economic confidence for February declined less-than-expected with the ZEW survey showing sentiment indicator fell from 20.4 in January to 17.8 in February. The result was better than expected with economists expecting the indicator to fall to 16.0. The indicator remains well below the long-term average of 23.7.

Overnight PMI data out of Europe and the US is expected is expected to remain solid and should have little effect on currencies ahead of tomorrow mornings FOMC meeting minutes data release.

Global equity markets are mixed - Dow -0.37%, S&P 500 +0.12%, FTSE -0.01%, DAX +0.83%, CAC +0.64%, Nikkei -1.01%, Shanghai Closed.

Gold prices are down 1.1% trading at $1,332 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices are inching lower, down 0.4% over the past 24 hours, trading at $62.16 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7348 -0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9309 -0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5952 0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5252 -0.2%
NZDJPY 78.81 0.3%
AUDUSD 0.7899 -0.2%
AUDGBP 0.5636 -0.2%
AUDEUR 0.6393 0.3%
AUDJPY 84.62 0.4%
AUDNZD 1.0737 0.0%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7371 (mid-rate) this morning.

A delayed reaction to the weekend’s US economic data has boosted the USD overnight with the NZD unable to sustain its move back above 74 US cents.

Trading has been light with the US enjoying the long weekend and investors awaiting economic data for further direction.

This morning's PPI data is likely to have little effect on the local currency, with investors looking to tonight’s GDT auction before adding to their positions.

Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction prices have firmed since the start of the year and dairy futures are pointing to another slight rise in prices at this evening's event.

This afternoons RBA monetary policy meeting minutes should dictate direction for the NZDAUD cross rate, the data release is scheduled for 13:30.

Global equity markets are softer - Dow Closed, S&P 500 Closed, FTSE -0.64%, DAX -0.53%, CAC -0.48%, Nikkei +1.97, Shanghai Closed.

Gold prices are down 0.7% trading at $1,347 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices continue to rise, up 1.2% over the past 24 hours, trading at $62.41 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7371 -0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9317 -0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5941 -0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5261 0.0%
NZDJPY 78.54 0.0%
AUDUSD 0.7912 0.0%
AUDGBP 0.5647 0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6375 0.5%
AUDJPY 84.31 0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0732 0.2%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7385 (mid-rate) this morning.

US dollar weakness which saw the NZDUSD rate climb back above 0.7400 during our trading day on Friday, abated following better-than-expected US economic data.

The USD rallied against its rivals on Friday as housing data and consumer sentiment data releases printed ahead of expectations. The Commerce Department reported housing starts spiked by 9.7% in January, well ahead of the forecast 3.5% rise, while building permits for the same period surged to an annual rate of 1.4m (exp 1.3m).

The University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment reading for the month of February came in at 99.9 following January’s final reading of 95.7, economists had expected the index to inch down to 95.7.

Thursday morning’s FOMC meeting minutes will be the main focus for investors during the week ahead, while key drivers for the NZD will be Wednesday morning’s dairy trade auction and Friday’s Q4 retail sales data release.

US equity markets had a positive close on Friday, - Dow +0.08%, S&P 500 +0.04%, FTSE +0.83%, DAX +0.86%, CAC +1.13%, Nikkei +1.19%, Shanghai +0.45%.

Gold prices pushed higher on Friday, up 0.4% closing out the week back above $1350 an ounce at $1,356, WTI Crude Oilprices pushed higher on Friday, up 1.4%, on the day to $61.68 for a weekly gain of 4.2%.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7385 0.0%
NZDAUD 0.9328 0.0%
NZDEUR 0.5951 0.6%
NZDGBP 0.5254 -0.2%
NZDJPY 78.55 -0.3%
AUDUSD 0.7912 0.0%
AUDGBP 0.5641 0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6375 0.5%
AUDJPY 84.25 -0.2%
AUDNZD 1.0709 -0.1%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7384 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD traded at 0.7400 overnight and starts today reasonably flat against the other major currencies. The NZDUSD cross has traded a 181 point range or 2.5% this week, trending higher each day from last Friday’s 0.7175 low.

U.S. producer prices accelerated in January, boosted by strong gains in the cost of gasoline and healthcare, offering more evidence that inflation pressures were building up. The report came on the heels of data on Wednesday night showing a broad increase in consumer prices in January. US PPI rose 0.4% last month after being unchanged in December. In the 12 months through January, the PPI rose 2.7% after advancing 2.6% in December.

U.S Business activity continued to expand in New York State, according to firms responding to the February 2018 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index (Philly Fed Survey) fell five points to 13.1, suggesting a somewhat slower pace of growth than in January.

Results from the Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey suggest that the region’s manufacturing sector continues to expand in February. The indexes for general activity, new orders, and employment were all positive this month and increased from their readings last month. Price increases for inputs were more widespread this month, according to the respondents. The index for current manufacturing activity increased 4 points in February to a reading of 25.8.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rebounded from a near 45-year low last week, but remained below a level that is associated with a tightening labour market. U.S. Initial Claims for state unemployment benefits increased 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 230,000 for the week ended Feb. 10

U.S. factory output was flat in January, for the second straight month, raising questions about the manufacturing outlook as production dropped in the aerospace, plastics and food industries.

Global equity markets are broadly higher: Dow +0.57%, S&P 500 +0.71%, FTSE +0.29%, DAX +0.06%, CAC +1.11%, Nikkei +1.47, Shanghai +0.45%.

Gold prices are slightly higher up 0.3% trading at $1,351 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices are surged 2.8% higher trading at $60.83 a barrel


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7384 0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9325 0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5916 -0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5254 -0.2%
NZDJPY 78.75 0.0%
AUDUSD 0.7915 0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5633 -0.3%
AUDEUR 0.6345 -0.3%
AUDJPY 84.45 -0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0720 -0.2%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7364 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD is the strongest performing of the G10 currencies after the RBNZ quarterly business confidence survey showed business managers forecast annual inflation to average 2.11% over the next two years, from 2.02% in Q4 survey. The 12 month inflation expectation inched down 0.1% to 1.86% from Q4’s 1.87% prediction.

The US inflation data printed ahead of expectations with the USD spiking higher on the announcement before gradually reversing the move over the next two hours.

The Labour Department report showed January CPI rose to 0.5% following an upwardly revised 0.2% result. Economists had forecast the index to rise by to 0.3% up from December’s previously reported 0.1% rise. Core consumer prices which exclude food and energy prices rose by 0.3% in January after inching up by 0.2% in December. Core prices had been expected to increase by 0.2%.

US retail sales for the month of January unexpectedly decreased, with the Commerce Department report showing sales fell by 0.3% following December’s 0.4% increase. Economists had expected January’s retail sales to increase by 0.2%.

Today the NZDAUD cross rate direction will be driven by this afternoon’s Australian monthly employment report, while overnight tonight US PPI along with their manufacturing data will be closely monitored.

Global equity markets are broadly higher - Dow +0.21%, S&P 500 +0.62%, FTSE +0.64%, DAX +1.17%, CAC +1.10%, Nikkei -0.43, Shanghai +0.45%.

Gold prices have surged higher up 1.5% trading at $1,345 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices are edging higher, up 0.3% trading at $59.20 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7364 1.2%
NZDAUD 0.9312 0.5%
NZDEUR 0.5925 0.6%
NZDGBP 0.5263 0.4%
NZDJPY 78.72 0.4%
AUDUSD 0.7908 0.6%
AUDGBP 0.5652 -0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6363 0.1%
AUDJPY 84.55 -0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0737 -0.5%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7278 (mid-rate) this morning.

Ahead of tonight’s eagerly awaited US inflation report direction for the NZD will be dictated by this afternoons RBNZ inflation expectations report.

The Yen is the best performing of the G10 currencies as equity markets turn negative and investors trim their USD long positions and flock to safe-havens.

Overnight UK inflation remained unchanged at 3% in January, the Office for National Statistics report showed core inflation which excludes energy, food, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, rose to 2.7% from 2.5% in December. Both results were ahead of expectations with economists forecasting inflation to edge down 0.1% to 2.9%, while core inflation had been forecast to rise to 2.6% up from 2.5% in December.

Following strong job and wage growth an increase in US core inflation of 0.2% or better is likely to see the Federal Reserve bring forward its plans for tightening and increase treasury yields, it was this possible outcome that led to last weeks’ equity sell-off.

Global equity markets have turned negative - Dow -0.32%, S&P 500 -0.14%, FTSE -0.13%, DAX -0.70%, CAC -0.60%, Nikkei -0.65, Shanghai +0.98%.

Gold prices are up 0.8% trading at $1,325 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have given back yesterday’s gains down 0.8% trading at $59.04 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7278 0.4%
NZDAUD 0.9265 0.3%
NZDEUR 0.5892 -0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5244 0.1%
NZDJPY 78.39 -0.5%
AUDUSD 0.7859 0.2%
AUDGBP 0.5658 -0.2%
AUDEUR 0.6359 -0.5%
AUDJPY 84.61 -0.8%
AUDNZD 1.0791 -0.3%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7246 (mid-rate) this morning.

The AUD has been the strongest performer over the past 24hrs, with the NZD little changed against the other majors.

The NZDUSD traded to a session high of 0.7275 but has failed to hold this level and is back trading at yesterday’s open. The catalyst for the push higher was yesterday’s better than expected Electronic Card Retail Sales data for the month of January. The data showed credit card spending in New Zealand spiked a seasonally adjusted 0.6% in January following on from December’s 0.2% gain.

Global equity markets have rallied strongly overnight with investors picking up stocks at reduced levels following last weeks’ sell-off. Rising commodity prices has also assisted the move with gold prices up circa 1% from the open.

There is very little in the way of local economic data during our trading session with investors likely to focus their attention on tonight’s UK inflation data and tomorrow’s RBNZ Inflation Expectations report for direction.

Global equity markets have started the week on the front foot - Dow +1.81%, S&P 500 +1.21%, FTSE +1.09%, DAX +1.45%, CAC +1.20%, Nikkei Closed, Shanghai +0.78%.

Gold prices are up 0.8% trading at $1,325 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have edged higher, up 0.5% trading at $59.52 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7246 0.0%
NZDAUD 0.9235 -0.5%
NZDEUR 0.5901 -0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5238 0.0%
NZDJPY 78.78 -0.1%
AUDUSD 0.7844 0.5%
AUDGBP 0.5671 0.5%
AUDEUR 0.6388 0.4%
AUDJPY 85.31 0.5%
AUDNZD 1.0827 0.6%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7245 (mid-rate) this morning.

Currency markets traded tight ranges on Friday as volatile global equity markets continued to take centre stage.

US equity markets turned positive on the day as traders reacted to news that lawmakers have managed to end a short government shutdown with a bill raising spending caps and funding the government until March 23rd.

The NZD was the strongest performer of the G10 currencies with the British pound the weakest. The GBP fell after the Office for National Statistics reported an increase in the UK’s trade deficit to GBP 13.57b in December from GBP 12.45b in November. Economists had expected a shortfall of GBP 11.55 b.

US wholesale inventories increased by more than expected in December with the Commerce Department report showing wholesale inventories rose by 0.4% in December after climbing by a revised 0.6% in November. Economists had expected inventories to inch up by 0.2%.

Domestically Wednesday's quarterly Inflation Expectations data release will be key to the NZD’s performance while on Thursday morning the US CPI and retail sales data releases will be key drivers for both the USD and equity markets.

US equity markets had a positive close on Friday , - Dow +1.38%, S&P 500 +1.49%, FTSE -1.09%, DAX -1.25%, CAC -1.41%, Nikkei -2.32%, Shanghai -4.05%.

Gold prices inched lower on Friday, edging down 0.1% closing out the week at $1,315 an ounce, WTI Crude Oil prices fell sharply on Friday, down 3.1%, closing out the week $59.20 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7245 0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9285 0.2%
NZDEUR 0.5912 0.4%
NZDGBP 0.5238 0.9%
NZDJPY 78.87 0.2%
AUDUSD 0.7802 0.0%
AUDGBP 0.5643 0.7%
AUDEUR 0.6365 0.1%
AUDJPY 84.91 0.0%
AUDNZD 1.0765 -0.2%

The NZDUSD opens lower at 0.7228 this morning.

The Kiwi was the worst performer of the G10 currencies overnight as global markets continued to fall.

The RBNZ left rates unchanged at 1.75% yesterday morning, with RBNZ Governor Spencer stating "we are not concerned about currency and are comfortable with where it is at."

The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to maintain their Official Bank Rate at 0.5%. The U.K. economy expanded by 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, slightly above the Bank's forecast of 0.4 percent. Incoming data for the country's economy has been mixed since the MPC's last meeting in December 2017.

U.S. filings for unemployment benefits unexpectedly declined last week, hovering close to an almost 45-year low and signaling a tight job market, Labour Department figures showed Thursday. In the week ending February 3, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 221,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 230,000. The 4-week moving average was 224,500.

Overnight data tonight includes Swiss Unemployment Rate, UK Manufacturing Production, UK Goods Trade Balance, UK Contruction Output m/m, UK Industrial Production m/m, US Wholesale Inventories, Canadian Employment Change and Unemployment Rate

Global equity markets are lower except the Japan: Dow -2.06%, S&P500 -1.66%, FTSE -1.49%, DAX -2.62%, CAC -1.98%, Nikkei +1.13%, Shanghai -1.43%.

Gold prices are up 0.1% to USD$1,316 an ounce. Oil prices (WTI) are down 0.5% at USD$61.08 per barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7228 -0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9266 -0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5891 -0.4%
NZDGBP 0.5193 -0.7%
NZDJPY 78.69 -0.7%
AUDUSD 0.7799 -0.3%
AUDGBP 0.5604 -0.7%
AUDEUR 0.6359 -0.3%
AUDJPY 84.91 -0.8%
AUDNZD 1.0788 0.2%

The NZDUSD opens lower at 0.7251 this morning.

The NZ Employment data surprised the market yesterday morning pushing the NZDUSD 30-40 points higher initially but the Kiwi gave up the gains overnight and more, on broad US Dollar strength. NZ Employment change q/q was 0.5% ahead of the 0.4% expected and the Employment Rate fell to 4.5% from 4.6% and economists were expecting a rise to 4.7%.

The Reserve Bank today left the Official Cash Rate (OCR) unchanged at 1.75 percent. The RBNZ press conference is at 10am.

UK Annual House Prices rises have slowed from 2.7% in December to 2.2% in January - the lowest rate since July last year. Not only was there a monthly decline but the quarterly rate of growth has also flattening out. Although employment levels grew by 102,000 in the three months to November, household finances are still under pressure as consumer prices continue to grow faster than wages.

The European Commission said overnight that the Euro-area economy will expand faster than previously anticipated this year and next, though it offered little comfort to the region’s central bank, saying inflation is expected to remain subdued. It sees expansion of 2.3% in 2018, up from 2.1% predicted in November and close to the decade-high rate reached in 2017.

The 2019 forecast was upgraded to 2%, meaning the outlook is broadly in line with the most recent projections from the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. The EUR/USD is down 150 basis points or 1.15% in response.

Canadian municipalities issued $8.1 billion in building permits in December, up 4.8% following a 7.3% decline in November. The December increase stemmed from higher construction intentions in the residential sector.

Oil prices fell 3.9% overnight after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that domestic crude supplies rose 1.9 million barrels for the week ended Feb. 2 well worse that the forecast for a rise of 2.8 million barrels.

Global equity markets are higher except the China and the S&P500: Dow +0.39%, S&P500 -0.25%, FTSE +1.93%, DAX +1.60%, CAC +1.82%, Nikkei -+0.16%, Shanghai -1.82%.

Gold prices are down $12 or 0.9% to USD$1,315 an ounce. Oil prices (WTI) are sharply lower, down 3.9% at USD$61.41 per barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7251 -0.8%
NZDAUD 0.9271 0.0%
NZDEUR 0.5913 0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5230 -0.2%
NZDJPY 79.26 -0.8%
AUDUSD 0.7821 -0.8%
AUDGBP 0.5643 -0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6380 0.3%
AUDJPY 85.62 -0.6%
AUDNZD 1.0769 -0.1%

The NZDUSD opens 1.0% lower at 0.7311 this morning since Monday’s open.

Turbulent global markets have spooked investors and the Kiwi is down over 1% against the USD and Yen, but up almost 1% against the GBP, AUD and CAD.

Monday night saw the Dow drop 4.22% which was the biggest one day fall in 6 years, and was down over 2% last night but it has since recovered to be just in positive territory.

Bitcoin after falling 10% Thursday, 10% Friday and 15% Monday to $5920 its lowest since mid-November, recovered to above $7250 up roughly 6% Tuesday.

The RBA left the cash rate unchanged at a record low of 1.5% yesterday afternoon as expected, marking 18 months without a change. There has not been an official cash rate increase since November 2010 and economists and experts widely predict rates to remain on hold throughout most of this year.

Retail Sales in the Eurozone increased for the tenth time in as many months during January, the longest period of growth in the series history. That said, the rate of growth slowed, reflecting softer increases in Germany and France, while a decline was evident in Italy. The headline IHS Markit Eurozone Retail PMI fell to 50.8 in January from 53.0 in December.

The US trade deficit swelled in December, and the $53.1 Billion shortfall was a slightly larger than expected. It was the largest deficit since October 2008. For 2017, the US recorded a trade deficit of goods and services of $566 Billion, the largest since 2008.

The U.S. IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index, a leading national poll on consumer confidence, increased in February to its highest level in more than 13 years. The overall Economic Optimism reading rose from 55.1 to 56.7, up 2.9%.

The Global Dairy Trade Price Index was up 5.9% compared with 4.9% last month.

Global equity markets are sharply lower except the US: Dow +0.07%, S&P500 -0.13%, FTSE -2.64%, DAX -2.32%, CAC -2.35%, Nikkei -4.73%, Shanghai -3.35%.

Gold prices are down $11 or 0.8% to USD$1,327 an ounce. Oil prices (WTI) are flat currently trading at USD$63.90 per barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7311 -1.0%
NZDAUD 0.9271 0.8%
NZDEUR 0.5901 -0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5239 1.0%
NZDJPY 79.92 -1.2%
AUDUSD 0.7884 -0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5648 0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6363 -0.1%
AUDJPY 86.17 -0.2%
AUDNZD 1.0782 -0.5%

The NZDUSD opens sharply lower at 0.7295 this morning.

Is this the end of the golden summer for the NZDUSD and global equity markets?

Friday night's US non-farm payrolls employment figures exceeded expectations. Job growth picked up and wages increased at their fastest pace since 2009 – the financial markets reacted violently with US bond yields surging higher (lower prices), equity markets plunged, the USD jumped higher, and the NZDUSD fell sharply.

The US employment data contributed to sentiment that US inflation is finally gathering momentum and higher interest rates are on the horizon. The markets have almost fully priced in 3 interest rate hikes in the US during 2018, with the first anticipated in late March. Higher interest rates are generallynegative for equity markets and positive for the USD (hence lower NZDUSD).

The RBNZ has a monetary policy (interest rate) meeting on Thursday. There is next to no chance of any interest rate increase any time soon, as inflation and inflation expectations remain lower than the RBNZ desires – low wage growth is part of the problem.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies also plunged, this was more to do with regulatory concerns than US jobs numbers.

There is nothing scheduled on the NZ data calendar today,ahead of the Waitangi Day holiday Tuesday. Wednesday bringsquarterly employment numbers, followed by the RBNZ OCR (official cash rate) meeting and Monetary Policy StatementThursday.

Global equity markets nose-dived on the day – Dow -2.5% (largest fall in 2-years), S&P500 -2.1%, FTSE -0.6%, DAX -1.5%, CAC -1.6%, Nikkei -0.9%, Shanghai +0.4%.

Gold prices fell 1.0% to USD$1,333 an ounce. Oil prices (WTI) dropped 1.1% to USD$65.06 per barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7295 -1.2%
NZDAUD 0.9218 0.2%
NZDEUR 0.5865 -0.9%
NZDGBP 0.5170 -0.4%
NZDJPY 80.34 -0.7%
AUDUSD 0.7912 -1.4%
AUDGBP 0.5607 -0.6%
AUDEUR 0.6361 -1.1%
AUDJPY 87.13 -0.9%
AUDNZD 1.0845 -0.2%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7385 this morning.

The Kiwi is stronger against the USD, JPY and AUD since yesterday morning's Fed "no Rate hike" and FOMC statement, but modestly weaker against the EUR and GBP.

Britain's manufacturers showed signs of a slowdown at the start of the year amid rising costs for raw materials, sending factory output to a seven-month low. The Markit/Cips UK manufacturing PMI index showed activity fell to 55.3 last month from 56.2 in December, missing forecasts of a further acceleration in growth. However, the PMI remained well above its long-run average of 51.7 and above the 50 mark which separates expansion from contraction.

U.S. Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in January, and the overall economy grew for the 105th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM. The January PMI registered 59.1%, a decrease of 0.2% from the seasonally adjusted December reading of 59.3%. The New Orders Index registered 65.4%, a decrease of 2% from the seasonally adjusted December reading.

Operating conditions across the US manufacturing sector continued to improve in January, with the latest survey data indicating the strongest upturn since March 2015. Moreover, production levels and new orders grew at the quickest rates in twelve months. Rising global demand also drove a faster expansion in new export orders. Higher production requirements resulted in a sharp and accelerated increase in buying activity. At the same time, the rate of input cost inflation eased slightly but remained marked overall. Consequently, firms raised their selling prices at the second steepest pace since September 2014.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, pointing to a tightening labour market and strengthening economy at the start of the year. US Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 230,000 for the week ended Jan. 27. Data for the prior week was revised to show 2,000 fewer claims received than previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 238,000 in the latest week.

Overnight data tonight includes UK Construction PMI, US Average hourly earnings, US Non-Farm Employment Change, US Unemployment rate, US Uni. Of Mich. Consumer Sentiment revised and US Uni. Of Mich. Inflation expectations revised.

Global equity markets were mixed: Dow +0.48%, S&P500 +0.35%, FTSE -0.57%, DAX -1.41%, CAC -0.50%, Nikkei 1.68%, Shanghai -0.97%.

Gold prices are up 0.1% to USD$1,341 an ounce. Oil prices (WTI) surged 1.7% higher to USD$65.46 per barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7385 0.3%
NZDAUD 0.9201 0.6%
NZDEUR 0.5917 -0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5189 -0.1%
NZDJPY 80.91 0.5%
AUDUSD 0.8025 -0.3%
AUDGBP 0.5639 -0.7%
AUDEUR 0.6431 -0.9%
AUDJPY 87.94 -0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0866 -0.6%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7366 (Pre FOMC) this morning.

With the FOMC statement and federal funds rate decision out at 8:00 am NZT, you can expect the market to have moved from where we are currently sitting. Whilst no one is really expecting any actual hike till March, (75% chance of a hike then), it will be Yellen’s last statement that the market will be watching closely for any clues that might change the future odds.

Yesterday we had Trumps first State of the Union address, which apart from the announcement of they had “ended the war on beautiful, clean coal”, didn’t really bring out any market moving headlines. He did reiterate how well the economy was doing though, which was back up by solid employment numbers, with 234k Non-Farm jobs added.

Out of Europe, CPI Flash estimates came bang on expectations

Apart from the big new at 08:00 this morning, there is not much data out, so expect the statement to drive momentum throughout the trading day as various financial centres come online.

Global equity markets were mixed, with the US halting their decline – Dow 0.55%, S&P500 0.25%, FTSE -0.68%, DAX -0.06%, CAC 0.15%, Nikkei -0.83%, Shanghai -0.21%.

Gold prices rose 0.7% to USD$1,339 an ounce. Oil prices (WTI) were flat at USD$64.36 per barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7366 0.5%
NZDAUD 0.9145 0.8%
NZDEUR 0.5933 0.3%
NZDGBP 0.5192 0.2%
NZDJPY 80.53 1.0%
AUDUSD 0.8053 -0.4%
AUDGBP 0.5679 -0.5%
AUDEUR 0.6489 -0.4%
AUDJPY 88.05 0.2%
AUDNZD 1.0935 -0.8%

The NZDUSD opens higher at 0.7329 this morning.

The USD reversed gains from the prior day, as the markets await Thursday’s US Fed monetary policy announcement and Friday’s US non-farm payroll employment data. This pushed the NZDUSD back above 0.7300.

NZ's December Trade Balance exceed expectations yesterday. Total exports of $5.6 bio set a December record,and were $1.1bio higher than in December 2016. Record export value of dairy products was a primary driver.

The GBP slipped to a 1-week low against the USD on renewed concerns about the impact of Brexit on the UK economy and on the slow progress of the exit talks with the EU.

US bond yields continued to move higher, with the 10-year bond yield (interest rates) hitting 2.73% - close to a 4-year high. Higher yields have generally been USD supportive, but this has not been the case over the last 2 months.

There is nothing scheduled on the NZ data calendar today.Main highlights will be Australian Q4 inflation figures at 1.30pm, followed by President Trump's "State of the Union Address" at 3pm.

Global equity markets fell sharply on the day – Dow -1.5%, S&P500 -1.1%, FTSE -1.1%, DAX -1.0%, CAC -0.9%, Nikkei -1.4%, Shanghai -1.0%.

Gold prices fell 0.7% to USD$1,336 an ounce. Oil prices (WTI) plunged 1.8% to USD$64.35 per barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7329 0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9074 0.4%
NZDEUR 0.5914 0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5182 -0.4%
NZDJPY 79.75 0.0%
AUDUSD 0.8082 -0.2%
AUDGBP 0.5710 -0.8%
AUDEUR 0.6516 -0.3%
AUDJPY 87.89 -0.4%
AUDNZD 1.1020 -0.4%

The NZDUSD opens lower, compared with Friday, at 0.7316this morning.

The USD gained across the board as US bond yields pushed higher ahead of Thursday’s US Fed interest rate meeting andFriday’s US non-farm payrolls employment figures. The NZDUSD consequently fell from recent highs.

The Fed meeting will be Jerome Powell’s first as Chair, having taken the mantle from Janet Yellen. The market is focused on whether we will see a continuation of Yellen’s slow and steady rate hikes – interest rate are anticipated to be increased 3 times during 2018, beginning in March, although some analysts are picking the Fed to raise 4 times.

The GBP weakened on fresh worries over whether Prime Minister Theresa May will be able to execute her Brexit plans.

NZ trade balance will be released at 10:45am

Global equity markets were mixed on the day – Dow -0.3%, S&P500 -0.3%, FTSE +0.1%, DAX -0.5%, CAC -0.1%, Nikkei -0.0%, Shanghai -1.0%.

Gold prices fell 0.9% to USD$1,345 an ounce. Oil prices (WTI) dropped 0.9% to USD$65.53 per barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7316 -0.8%
NZDAUD 0.9039 -0.9%
NZDEUR 0.5911 0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5201 0.6%
NZDJPY 79.76 -0.4%
AUDUSD 0.8097 -0.2%
AUDGBP 0.5754 0.6%
AUDEUR 0.6537 0.5%
AUDJPY 88.23 0.4%
AUDNZD 1.1065 0.9%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7343 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD has continued to push higher overnight posting a new post-election high against the USD and trading back above 0.9200 against the AUD, with a sharp fall in iron ore prices weighing on our cross Tasman rival.

Germany's economic confidence is sitting at an eight month high with the ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment increasing to 20.4 in January well ahead of the 17.7 forecast result. The increase represents a 3 point gain from December’s 17.4 reading but is still short of the long-term average of 23.7.

The UK's December public sector net borrowing which excludes banks, decreased by GBP 2.5B from the previous year to GBP 2.6B and represents the lowest December net in 17 years. A GBP 1.2B credit from the European Union and higher value-added tax were the main reasons for the result.

Overnight tonight, manufacturing and services data releases out of Europe and the US will dictate direction with tomorrow morning’s quarterly inflation data the key driver for the NZD.

Global equity markets are mixed - Dow -0.11%, S&P 500 +0.12%, FTSE +0.21%, DAX +0.71%, CAC -0.12%, Nikkei +1.29%, Shanghai +1.29%.

Gold prices are up 0.5% trading at $1,337 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices continue to climb, up a further 1.0% overnight trading at $64.21 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7343 0.5%
NZDAUD 0.9199 0.8%
NZDEUR 0.5979 0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5252 0.2%
NZDJPY 81.12 -0.1%
AUDUSD 0.7986 -0.2%
AUDGBP 0.5708 -0.6%
AUDEUR 0.6499 -0.7%
AUDJPY 88.21 -0.8%
AUDNZD 1.0868 -0.8%

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

The USD is likely to continue to struggle this week after funding for US federal agencies ran out on Saturday midnight, forcing a partial US government shutdown. The shutdown has moved into its second day with the Democratic and Republican parties failing to reach a consensus on immigration.

US consumer sentiment unexpectedly deteriorated in the month of January, with the University of Michigan preliminary report showing the consumer sentiment index slipped to 94.4 in January from the final December reading of 95.9. The index had been forecast to rise to 97.0.

The Euro-zone current account surplus for the month of November increased to EUR 32.5B up from EUR 30.3B in October, The increase follows consecutive falls in September and October.

December retail sales in the UK declined more-than-expected with the Office for National Statistics reporting sales were down 1.5% following on from November’s 1% rise. This is the largest fall in retail sales since June 2016.

The key driver for the NZD during the week ahead will be Thursday’s Q4 inflation report.

Global equity markets rallied on Friday, - Dow +0.21%, S&P 500 +0.44%, FTSE +0.39%, DAX +1.15%, CAC +0.58%, Nikkei +0.19%, Shanghai +0.38%.

Gold prices trimmed their weekly losses on Friday, edging up 0.3% closing out the week at $1,331 an ounce, WTI Crude Oilprices fell on Friday, down 1.1%closing out the week $63.31.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7285 -0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9125 -0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5939 -0.6%
NZDGBP 0.5248 -0.3%
NZDJPY 80.62 -0.5%
AUDUSD 0.7989 0.0%
AUDGBP 0.5755 0.0%
AUDEUR 0.6515 -0.3%
AUDJPY 88.39 -0.4%
AUDNZD 1.0965 0.2%

The NZD opens at 0.7302 (Mid-rate) this morning.

The lack of outright movement since yesterday belies the fact that it was actually a relatively volatile day. The Kiwi broke through 0.7300, trading to a high of 0.7331 before getting knocked back to 0.7244.

Data out of the US came in fairly mixed, but fears of the US Government shutdown, although unlikely, have kept the USD’s recent run of weakness going.

It is a pretty quiet weekend from a data perspective, with the volatile UK Retail Sales being the only major data of note to come out. You can expect it to miss expectations.

Wellington celebrates its Anniversary day on Monday, so although we cannot settle anything NZD related on Monday the 22nd, there will be no interruption to any other currencies or dealing.

Global equity markets are mixed - Dow -0.39%, S&P 500 -0.15%, FTSE -0.32%, DAX +0.74%, CAC +.02%, Nikkei -0.44%, Shanghai +0.87%.

Gold prices are down half a percent to $1,327 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices are virtually flat, trading at $64.00 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7302 -0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9137 0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5972 0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5261 0.0%
NZDJPY 81.06 0.2%
AUDUSD 0.7992 -0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5757 -0.2%
AUDEUR 0.6536 0.1%
AUDJPY 88.73 0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0943 -0.1%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7314 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD came under pressure yesterday afternoon following the release of the ANZ commodity price index result for December. The index fell for the third month in succession, down 2.2% from November, with a 5.6% fall in dairy prices leading the way. The mover lower proved to be short-lived, with the NZD rebounding strongly against the USD as London and Europe entered the market.

US industrial production increased more than expected in December, with the Federal Reserve reporting industrial production surged 0.9% after edging down by 0.1% in November. Economists had forecast a 0.4% increase.

As mentioned in yesterday morning’s report the bank of Canada hiked its cash rate by 0.25% to a rate of 1.25%, the hike was all but priced in with the CAD showing little reaction to the announcement. The increase in the cash rate was the third since July 2017.

Crypto currencies have extended their sharp fall overnight, the news that South Korea and China are planning a crackdown on the digital currency market has seen the bitcoin price plummet below USD10k from its USD20k peak in December.

During our trading day Australia’s monthly employment report will dictate direction for the NZDAUD cross rate, while overnight tonight China’s quarterly GDP data release should prove to be the highlight.

Global equity markets are mixed - Dow +0.73%, S&P 500 +0.53, FTSE -0.39%, DAX -0.47%, CAC -0.36%, Nikkei -0.35%, Shanghai +0.24%.

Gold prices are little changed $1,335 an ounce. WTI Crude Oilprices are up 0.6% trading at $63.93 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7314 0.6%
NZDAUD 0.9131 -0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5963 0.4%
NZDGBP 0.5263 -0.3%
NZDJPY 80.94 0.5%
AUDUSD 0.8001 0.6%
AUDGBP 0.5767 -0.1%
AUDEUR 0.6532 0.6%
AUDJPY 88.66 0.6%
AUDNZD 1.0949 0.1%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7273 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD has edged lower overnight failing to capitalise on this morning’s Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction result.

The second GDT auction of the New Year has seen the index increase by 4.9% following on from the 2.2% rise at the Jan 2ndevent. There were substantial increases in the Butter, Skim milk powder (SMP) and Whole milk powder (WMP) index’s which were all up more by than 5%. New Zealand dairy farmers will be pleased to see whole milk powder prices back above USD 3,000 a tonne with this morning’s average selling price hitting USD 3,010 a tonne.

UK inflation eased for the first time in 6 months during December, with last night’s Office for National Statistics report showing inflation edged down to 3% from November’s 3.1% reading. Consumer prices increased by 0.4%, as expected for the month, while core inflation which excludes energy, food, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, dipped further than forecast, slowing to 2.5% in December down from 2.7% in November and just shy of the forecast 2.6% result.

Overnight, tonight and on the back of unexpectedly strong employment data and rising inflation the Bank of Canada are widely tipped to raise rates by a quarter-point, from 1.0% – 1.25%. The last time the benchmark rate was above 1.0% was back in December 2008.

Global equity markets with the exception of the FTSE are trading higher - Dow +0.64%, S&P 500 +0.25, FTSE -0.17%, DAX +0.35%, CAC +0.07%, Nikkei +1.00%, Shanghai +0.77%.

Gold prices are down 0.4% to $1,334 an ounce. WTI Crude Oilprices have pulled back overnight, down 1.6% trading at $63.53 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7273 -0.4%
NZDAUD 0.9141 -0.2%
NZDEUR 0.5938 -0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5279 -0.2%
NZDJPY 80.55 -0.1%
AUDUSD 0.7954 -0.2%
AUDGBP 0.5775 0.0%
AUDEUR 0.6496 0.0%
AUDJPY 88.12 0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0938 0.2%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7305 (mid-rate) this morning.

The US dollar index slumped to a 3-year low overnight helping the NZD break up through 73 US cents for the first time since our election stalemate.

Both the NZD and AUD are benefiting from a strengthening CNY with the USDCNY cross rate setting a new 20-month low of 6.4189 following last week’s better than expected Chinese trade and inflation data.

The EUR has climbed to its highest level against the USD since December 2014, with investors hoping that a coalition between Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc and the Social Democrats will be finalised this week.

The key drivers for the NZD over the next 24 hours are this morning’s business confidence report and tonight’s GDT auction.

Global equity markets have edged lower - Dow Closed%, S&P 500 Closed, FTSE -0.12%, DAX -0.34%, CAC -0.13%, Nikkei +0.26%, Shanghai -0.54%.

Gold prices are little changed up 0.1% to $1,340 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices continue to push higher, up 0.6% trading at $64.59 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7305 0.7%
NZDAUD 0.9162 -0.1%
NZDEUR 0.5952 0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5291 0.2%
NZDJPY 80.61 0.1%
AUDUSD 0.7973 0.7%
AUDGBP 0.5773 0.2%
AUDEUR 0.6496 0.2%
AUDJPY 88.01 0.1%
AUDNZD 1.0911 -0.1%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7251 (mid-rate) this morning.

The EUR and GBP were the big movers on Friday, with both currencies surging higher as the USD continued to struggle.

Friday's US inflation data fell short of economists’ estimates with the Labor Department report showing the consumer price index nudged up by 0.1% in December following on from a 0.4% increase in November. Economists had expected prices to rise by 0.2%. US retail sales for the same period increased in line with expectations rising by 0.4% following an upwardly revised 0.9% increase in November.

The EUR received a further boost on Friday evening after it was reported that German politicians had reached a breakthrough in talks and were close to forming a new c oalition government.

The only domestic economic data of note during the week ahead is Wednesday morning’s global dairy trade auction, with farmers hoping for a further increase in prices following the slight rise recorded at the previous event.

Global equity markets with the exception of the Nikkei rallied on Friday, - Dow +0.89%, S&P 500 +0.67%, FTSE +0.20%, DAX +0.32%, CAC +0.52%, Nikkei -0.24%, Shanghai +0.10%.

Gold prices extended their weekly gains on Friday, up 1.2% closing out the week at $1,338 an ounce, WTI Crude Oil prices held steady on Friday, closing out the week $64.23 a barrel for a weekly gain of 5.7%.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7251 0.0%
NZDAUD 0.9167 -0.2%
NZDEUR 0.5947 -1.3%
NZDGBP 0.5282 -1.4%
NZDJPY 80.54 0.0%
AUDUSD 0.7917 0.3%
AUDGBP 0.5759 -1.3%
AUDEUR 0.6485 -1.1%
AUDJPY 87.92 0.3%
AUDNZD 1.0925 0.5%

The NZDUSD opens higher at 0.7248 this morning.

The NZDUSD rose to 3 1/2 month highs as the USD weakened overnight after data showed US producer prices fell for the first time in 18 months, causing concern inflation, and hence interest rate hikes, may be constrained.

The USD also suffered as the EUR jumped higher on expectations the European Central Bank policy makers are preparing to scale back their massive monetary stimulus programme as the euro-zone economy strengthens.

Oil prices continued to make gains as production cuts and increasing demand has gradually reduced the global surplus.

Australia’s November retail sales numbers were surprisingly strong. The figures received a boost from sales of the new iPhone X and Black Friday sales.

NZ building consents will be released at 10:45am

Global equity markets were mixed on the day – Dow +0.6%, S&P500 -0.1%, FTSE +0.2%, DAX -1.0%, CAC -0.3%, Nikkei -0.3%, Shanghai +0.1%.

Gold prices rose 0.2% to USD$1,322 an ounce, a 4-month high. Oil prices (WTI) jumped 1.1% to USD$64.25 per barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7248 0.8%
NZDAUD 0.9187 0.2%
NZDEUR 0.6024 0.2%
NZDGBP 0.5356 0.7%
NZDJPY 80.55 0.5%
AUDUSD 0.7891 0.8%
AUDGBP 0.5832 0.6%
AUDEUR 0.6555 0.0%
AUDJPY 87.65 0.5%
AUDNZD 1.0876 -0.2%

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7165 (mid-rate) this morning. The AUDUSD opens at 0.7868 (mid-rate) this morning.

Economic data releases over the next 24 hours.

AUD - 11:30 - AIG Construction Index

USD - 06:40 - FOMC Member Bostic Speaks

-07:35 - FOMC Member Williams Speaks

EUR - 21:00 - Retail Sales m/m

Global equity markets continued to push higher on Friday, - Dow +0.88%, S&P 500 +0.70%, FTSE +0.37%, DAX +1.16%, CAC +1.05%, Nikkei +0.89%, Shanghai +0.18%

Gold prices were unchanged on Friday closing out the week at $1,319 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices fell 0.7% on Friday closing out the week at $61.41 a barrel.


Today’s Rates Open %Change
NZDUSD 0.7165 0.2%
NZDAUD 0.9111 0.2%
NZDEUR 0.5955 0.6%
NZDGBP 0.5279 0.0%
NZDJPY 80.95 0.4%
AUDUSD 0.7868 0.1%
AUDGBP 0.5802 0.0%
AUDEUR 0.6531 0.4%
AUDJPY 88.85 0.2%
AUDNZD 1.0964 -0.2%