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HiFX morning Update, February 18 2019

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

Risk appetite increased further on Friday following positive comments from President Trump at the conclusion of last weeks’ China-US trade talks. Trump said the negotiations in Beijing were going "extremely well" and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping announced the talks would continue in Washington this week. Trump went on to say “it would be my honour” to remove the tariffs if a deal was done and that there was a "possibility" he would extend the March 1st deadline if a deal was close.

The USD retreated off its highs late on Friday after President Trump carried out his threat and declared a national emergency on border security.

Prior to this announcement the USD was once again pushing higher after the University of Michigan released its preliminary consumer sentiment report for February. The report has the index rebounding to 95.5 well ahead of the forecast 93.0 after plummeting to 91.2 in January.

The British pound rose sharply on Friday night after the Office for National Statistics retail sales report for the month of January showed retail sales rebounded strongly. Following on from December’s 0.7% decrease January’s sales surged 1.0%. economists had expected sales to increase by 0.2%.

An absence of economic data along with the US President’s day holiday is likely to lead to a subdued start to the trading week.

Global equity market closed out the week mixed, - Dow +1.74%, S&P 500 +1.08%, FTSE +0.55%, DAX +1.89%, CAC +1.79%, Nikkei -1.13%, Shanghai -1.37%.

Gold prices edged higher on Friday, up 0.5% closing out the week at $1,321 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices closed near 3-month highs on Friday rising 2.8% closing out the week at $55.98 a barrel.

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