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HiFX morning Update, March 4, 2019

The NZDUSD opens little changed at 0.6808 (mid-rate) this morning.

A slew of weaker-than-expected US economic data (consumer sentiment, personal spending & income, manufacturing PMI, manufacturing prices, amongst others) initially weighed on the USD Friday evening. However, the USD bounced back as global equity markets made strong gains and on optimism of a trade deal between China and the USA. The NZDUSD traded in a moderate range to end, more or less, where it started.

NZ’s terms of trade, released Friday morning, fell 3.0% during Q4 2018, due primarily to lower dairy prices. The terms of trade measures the purchasing power of the nation’s exports abroad.

The NZD got a small boost Friday afternoon after the Chinese Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose more than forecast in February.

Australian home prices continued to slide in February, with data showing prices fell 0.7% nationally in February. Values are down 6.3% over the past 12 months. The Reserve Bank of Australia is concerned that further steep drops could undermine household wealth and spending, thus necessitate a cut in the cash rate.

US President Donald Trump said Saturday evening (US time) that the US dollar is too strong and renewed criticism of the US Fed. He said the Fed’s tight monetary policy was contributing to the strong US$ and damaging the US’s global competitiveness.

There is no data scheduled on the local calendar today.

Global equity markets were higher across the board on the day - Dow +0.4%, S&P 500 +0.7%, FTSE +0.5%, DAX +0.8%, CAC +0.5%, Nikkei +1.0%, Shanghai +1.8%.

Gold prices are fell 1.2% to USD$1,296 an ounce, while WTI Crude Oil prices plunged 2.3% to US$55.80 per barrel.


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