The Opening Bell: Where currencies start on Friday, May 19, 2017

By Dan Bell

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6891 (mid-rate) this morning.

Global equity markets continued lower with North America the exception. The USD found some strength on a suspected terror act in New York as a car, at speed, mounted the curb and ploughed into pedestrians. The New York Police have the driver in custody and have reported that it was just a drunk driver – not a terrorist act.

The NZD/USD is the worst performing currency of the majors in the last 24 hours. The Kiwi is down 0.75% or 49 points, and starts today back under 0.6900, but well clear of the strong pivotal 0.6850 level.

The NZD/AUD dropped 70 points after yesterday’s Australian Employment data came in better than expected. Australian Employment was 37.4k and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.7%, ahead of 5k and 5.9% market consensus respectively.

In April 2017, UK Retail Sales increased by 2.3% compared with March 2017 (1.2% expected) and by 4.0% compared with April 2016.

In the week ending May 13, the advance figure for U.S. seasonally adjusted Initial Claims was 232,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 236,000. The 4-week moving average was 240,750.

Results from the May U.S. Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey suggest that most firms still expect growth to continue over the next six months. The diffusion indexes for general activity and shipments improved notably from their April readings. The indexes for new orders and employment, however, fell modestly from last month but remained at high readings.

Global equity markets are down except North America - Dow +0.46%, S&P 500 +0.54%, FTSE -0.89%, DAX -0.33%, CAC -0.53%, Nikkei -1.32% Shanghai -0.46%.

Gold prices are down $11 or 0.9% trading at $1,247 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil is up 0.3% currently trading at $49.32 a barrel.

Current indicative rates:

NZDUSD       0.6891      -0.7%
NZDEUR       0.6208      -0.2%
NZDGBP       0.5327      -0.4%
NZDJPY        76.85        -0.2%
NZDAUD       0.9289      -0.6%
NZDCAD       0.9376      -0.8%
GBPNZD       1.8762       0.3%

Upcoming Data releases (NZST):

  • 13:30 Australian Employment Report

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Dan Bell is the senior currency strategist at HiFX in Auckland. You can contact him here »

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