The Opening Bell: Where currencies start for Wednesday, January 30, 2013

By Dan Bell

The NZD/USD is higher at 0.8375 this morning after yesterday’s encouraging trade surplus underpinned the kiwi.

Positive antipodean sentiment was further enhanced after Australian business confidence numbers showed marked improvement.

The EUR/USD nudged to new 11-month highs, but held just below the 1.3500 level.

NZD/EUR bounced a little from recent lows, while NZD/JPY hovered close to their recently established 4 ½ year high.

US house prices rose 5.5% over the last 12-months. This is significant given the collapse in house prices was one of the root causes of the global financial crisis. Less encouraging was the sharp drop in US consumer confidence figures.

The US Federal Reserve interest rate meeting results will be released tomorrow morning. They are expected to maintain their ultra-easy policy for many months to come.

World equity markets were higher. The Dow Jones climbed 0.5%, while the Shanghai index closed up 0.9% and a 2-day gain of 4.0%.

Gold prices gained 0.6% to USD$1664. Oil, Copper and other base metals prices all climbed higher on the day.

The NZD opens at 0.8375 USD, 0.8005 AUD, 0.6205 EUR, 0.5315 GBP, & 75.95 JPY.

NZ Building Consents hit the tapes at 10:45am today – will be interesting to see the impact of the Christchurch rebuild.

RBNZ Cash Rate decision will be released Thursday – rates are almost uniformly expected to say at 2.50%, however the accompanying statement will be closely analysed for indications on how the RB sees the NZ economy, and hence interest rates, tracking during the course of 2013.


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

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