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Weekly roundup: Australian dollar & New Zealand dollar up on falling US rate hike odds

currency-newsWeekly roundup: Australian dollar & New Zealand dollar up on falling US rate hike odds
Chinese consumer price index figures at the beginning of the week kept appetite for both the Australian dollar and New Zealand dollar weak. Economists had expected price growth to accelerate to 1.6%, but it instead remained at 1.5%. This suggests weaker domestic demand, which could filter through to smaller order volumes for Australian and New Zealand exporters. NZD held in positive territory; AUD was not so lucky.

Tuesday saw the Australian dollar climb higher on the back of business confidence survey results. The NAB business conditions index hit a nine-year high of 15. Meanwhile, the New Zealand dollar slumped on the back of news that a 6.8 magnitude earthquake had struck around 200km off the coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Although there were no initial reports of damage or casualties, the quake brought back memories of the more severe Kaikoura earthquake in November 2016, which caused significant damage.

AUD continued its modest advance on Wednesday following rising consumer confidence and credit card purchases figures. Meanwhile, the New Zealand dollar rose as general risk-appetite improved.

Risk appetite continued to boost the Australian dollar and the New Zealand dollar on Thursday. Survey data showed Australian consumers were expecting a strong uptick in the pace of inflation over the coming twelve months, which points to higher spending. Although New Zealand consumer confidence fell sharply, market demand for higher-yielding currencies helped keep NZD buoyant.

Poor US data on Friday slashed the odds of an interest rate hike, pushing the Australian dollar much higher as markets turned their attention to more risky currencies. This didn’t make the New Zealand dollar any more appealing, however.

There are a handful of impactful releases on the data calendar from Australia this week. Minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) latest monetary policy meeting could cause significant volatility if they reveal a cautious outlook on interest rates. Thursday’s employment and joblessness figures will also cause serious movement.

Today’s New Zealand consumer price index figures could significantly shift NZD, as could the results of tomorrow’s global dairy auction.
 
Philip McHugh

Philip McHugh

Phil joined the corporate foreign exchange department in 2000, and initially worked as a Senior Executive Dealer on the private client desk. In 2007, Phil moved to the corporate dealing desk as a corporate dealer and now oversees the corporate trading desk. Phil helps to manage the trading activity of the dealing desk and also works with a portfolio of corporate clients to help with their foreign exchange and risk management needs. Phil has attained FSA approval and has completed the Certificate in International Treasury Management (CertITM).

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