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HiFX morning Update, March 18, 2019

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6842 (mid-rate) this morning.

Trade talk optimism led to an increase in risk appetite on Friday with major averages and risk linked currencies all pushing higher into the close.

Fridays mixed economic data reports has seen the USD give back some of its recent gains. A stronger-than-expected consumer sentiment rep[ort was more than offset by disappointing industrial production and manufacturing data releases.

The University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index for the month of March spiked to 97.8 from February’s final reading of 93.8. Economists had forecast the index to rise to 95.3.

The Federal Reserve industrial production report for the month of February showed production edged up by 0.1% well short of the expected 0.4% increase following on from January’s upwardly revised 0.4% fall.

New York manufacturing activity has unexpectedly slowed in the month of March with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reporting its general business conditions index plummeted to 3.7 in March after spiking to 8.8 in February. Market consensus was for the index to rise to 10.0.

The GBP was again higher on Friday after UK lawmakers passed a motion to delay the process of exiting from EU by at least three months and overwhelmingly rejected a call for a second referendum. UK Prime Minister Theresa May will again seek the backing of the house when she presents her revised withdrawal deal later this week.

Thursday morning’s FOMC statement is likely to be the focal point for international investors while local attention will be on New Zealand’s Q4 GDP report due for release later that morning.

Global equity market closed out the week higher, - Dow +0.54%, S&P 500 +0.50%, FTSE +0.60%, DAX +0.85%, CAC +1.04%, Nikkei +0.77%, Shanghai +1.04%.

Gold prices retraced Thursday’s fall on Friday, gaining 0.44% closing out the week at $1,301 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices edged lower on Friday, down 0.2% closing at $58.52 a barrel.


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