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XE Morning Update - July 17, 2019

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6698 (mid-rate) this morning.

The USD has strengthened overnight after retail sales for the month of June exceeded market expectations.

Data from the Commerce Department showed that retail sales rose by 0.4% in June following on from a downwardly revised 0.4% increase in May. The result was markedly stronger than forecasted with economists predicting sales to inch up by 0.1% from May’s previously reported 0.5% increase.

US import prices fell sharply in June with the Labour Department reporting prices plummeted 0.9% partly due to a steep fall in fuel prices. Economists had expected prices to decline by 0.7%.

This mornings Global dairy Trade Auction has ended the recent slump in prices going back to early May, with the overall index up 2.7%. Both skimmed milk and whole milk powder prices achieved significant gains, up 3.8% and 3.6% respectively.

This morning Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated that the Fed will “act as appropriate” to keep the economic expansion going. Speaking in Paris Mr Powell repeated that Fed officials remain concerned about the lack of progress in trade talks and slowing global growth along with “a more prolonged shortfall” in inflation which remains below the Fed’s 2.0% target.

“ Many FOMC participants judged at the time of our most recent meeting in June that the combination of these factors strengthens the case for a somewhat more accommodative stance of policy” commented Powell.

The British pound came under more pressure overnight as fears of a no-deal Brexit increased after both Conservative Party leadership candidates – Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, declared the Northern Ireland backstop effectively ‘dead’ and said that they would now remove this from their future negotiations with the EU.

A lack of economic data during our trading day is likely to see currencies trade tight ranges.

Global equity markets are mixed, - Dow -0.06%, S&P 500 -0.36%, FTSE +0.60%, DAX +0.36%, CAC +0.66%, Nikkei -0.69%, Shanghai -0.16%.

Gold prices are marginally lower, trading at $1,405 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have fallen sharply, down 3.7%, trading at $57.39 a barrel.


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