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XE Morning Update

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6732 (mid-rate) this morning.

Optimism about the next round of trade talks between the US and China due to take place later today has led to an increase in risk appetite.

A US delegation headed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are meeting with their China counterparts in an effort to negotiate a trade agreement before the March 2nd deadline that could see tariffs on $200 billion worth of China-made goods increase to 25%. The talks are expected to focus on structural reforms and intellectual property protections.

Overnight the UK Office For National Statistics reported UK economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2018 slowed more sharply than expected with the data release showing Gross domestic product(GDP) grew 0.2% following on from Q3’s 0.6% expansion. Economists had expected the economy to grow by 0.3%. GDP for the full year was 1.4% and represents the slowest growth rate since 2012.

We expect the NZD to continue to trade the ranges ahead of tomorrow’s RBNZ statement when Governor Adrian Orr is expected to hold the official cash rate at a record-low 1.75%. Direction for the NZD will be dictated by the “tone” of the statement and whether the Bank looks to move away from its data dependent neutral stance to more of an easing bias.

Global equity markets are broadly higher, Dow +0.05%, S&P 500 +0.10%, FTSE +0.82%, DAX +0.99%, CAC +1.06%, Nikkei Closed, Shanghai +1.36%.

Gold prices have inched lower, down 0.3% trading at 1,309 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have reversed Friday’s gains, currently down 2.0%% trading at $52.03 a barrel

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