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HiFX morning Update, March 1 2019

NZDUSD 0.6810 -0.4%
NZDEUR 0.5982 -0.5%
NZDGBP 0.5131 -0.2%
NZDJPY 75.81 -0.1%
NZDAUD 0.9595 0.1%
NZDCAD 0.8957 -0.4%
GBPNZD 1.489 0.2%

The NZDUSD fell overnight, as the USD rose after stronger-than-expected US GDP figures. Data showed the US economy expanded at a 2.6% annualised rate for Q4 2018, exceeding the 2.3% forecast, and grew at 2.9% during all of 2018.

Signs of a slowing US economy had shaken financial markets in recent months and led the US Fed to pause its monetary tightening. However, the solid GDP data may indicate fears of a significant US slowdown are overblown.

ANZ business confidence survey, released yesterday, indicated a net 30.9% of respondents expect the NZ economy to deteriorate over the year ahead.

Fonterra cuts is annual earnings outlook but increased its 2018/2019 forecast for milk prices paid to farmers.

The NZD was under pressure yesterday afternoon after data suggested that Chinese manufacturing activity shrank for the 3rd straight month in February, while their service sector also slowed. Chinese manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index) shrank to the lowest level in 3 years and export orders fell to levels not seen since the global financial crisis – more signs that the Chinese economy is facing weak demand at home and abroad.

Sentiment towards the NZD was also dented after comments from President Trump’s chief trade negotiator that the US would need to maintain the threat of tariffs on Chinese goods for years even if a deal was reached on trade.

NZ monthly Building Consents figures hit the tapes at 10:45am today – these are not anticipated to be a market-mover.

Global equity markets were mostly lower on the day - Dow -0.1%, S&P 500 -0.1%, FTSE -0.5%, DAX +0.3%, CAC +0.3%, Nikkei -0.8%, Shanghai -0.4%.

Gold prices are slipped 0.4% to USD$1,313 an ounce, while WTI Crude Oil prices fell 0.3% to US$57.10 per barrel.


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