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HiFX morning Update, March 11, 2019

The NZDUSD opens higher at 0.6796 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZDUSD gained ground Friday night as the US February payrolls disappointed in terms of job gains, but also showed the fastest increase in average hourly earnings since 2009.

US job growth came in at an anaemic 20,000 (180,000 was forecast). However, average hourly earnings jumped 0.4% in February, compared with 0.1% in January, while the unemployment rate, which is a calculated from a different survey than the payroll figures, dropped to 3.8%.

Nevertheless, the markets remain concerned about the strength of global growth and the interest rate policy (direction) of the various central banks.

US-China trade talks continue with the two sides reaching consensus on many crucial issues, according to the People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang. However, there is still many concerns still to be worked through.

With just 19 days before the UK is due to leave the EU, Prime Minister May is still scrambling to secure last-minute changes to an EU exit treaty. It is looking increasingly likely that May will be forced to delay a Brexit, with some factions predicting Brexit could be reversed.

Much like last week, the NZ data calendar is light - there is no domestic data scheduled today.

The most significant event on the economic calendar today - US Fed chair Jerome Powell interview with CBS TV on interest rates, the economic outlook, and financial stability.

Global equity markets were lower on the day - Dow -0.1%, S&P 500 -0.2%, FTSE -0.7%, DAX -0.5%, CAC -0.7%, Nikkei -2.0%, Shanghai -4.4%.

Gold prices surged 1% to USD$1,298 an ounce, while WTI Crude Oil prices dropped 0.8% to US$56.13 per barrel.


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