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HiFX Morning Update, March 16 2018

HiFX Morning Update, March 16 2018

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.

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