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Weekly roundup: Turbulent week for the Australian & New Zealand dollars

currency-newsWeekly roundup: Turbulent week for the Australian & New Zealand dollars
The Australian dollar saw choppy trading last week, thanks to a mixture of economic data and general market sentiment.

Tuesday saw the release of minutes from the latest Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) monetary policy meeting. The accounts were not particularly optimistic, but the general consensus remained that the RBA was likely to at least keep interest rates on hold for some time, so the threat of a cut receded.

Political chaos in the US unsettled the Australian dollar, with global appetite for the risky currency weakening. However, Thursday’s labour market data gave AUD a strong boost. The number of people entering employment clocked in at 37,400 - nearly eight times the forecast level. This pushed the unemployment level down to 5.7%, even though economists had expected it to remain unchanged at 5.9%.

Like the Australian Dollar, the New Zealand dollar had a turbulent few days last week. Without much domestic data to provide support, combined with bumpy commodity markets, NZD was left in the hands of market sentiment. Although the latest global dairy auction saw prices of milk - New Zealand’s chief export - rise 3.2%, this was not enough to overly strengthen the New Zealand dollar.

This week is very quiet in terms of Australian data. The only release on the calendar not considered low impact is the Westpac leading index. This is a gauge of the future trajectory of the economy, so an increase indicates that growth projections are improving, while a decrease suggests the opposite is true.

New Zealand’s data calendar is even worse in terms of information scarcity, with Tuesday being the only day any reports whatsoever are released. These are likely to cause some volatility in NZD, however, given that they cover trade performance during April. Forecasts are for the trade surplus to fall by over -NZ$60 million, so the New Zealand dollar could soften.
 
Philip McHugh

Philip McHugh

Joining the corporate trading desk in 2007, Phil now over sees all of Currencies Direct’s corporate dealing activity. Having gained experience working with hundreds of businesses to optimise international payments processes and execute comprehensive risk management strategies, Phil currently works with a portfolio of corporate clients whilst managing Currencies Direct’s overall market exposure

Phil has FCA approval and has completed the Certificate in International Treasury Management (CertiTM)

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