sign uplog in
Want to go ad-free? Find out how, here.

NZD is currently trading at the 0.6950 level after testing a 0.6920 low, look for a move to the 0.6900 level over the next week; against the AUD the NZD has been firm and upside potential remains; USD strength to continue as Fed rate rises

NZD is currently trading at the 0.6950 level after testing a 0.6920 low, look for a move to the 0.6900 level over the next week; against the AUD the NZD has been firm and upside potential remains; USD strength to continue as Fed rate rises

By Howard Willcox*:

The current main market theme continues to centre around a more risk averse sentiment, as tensions remain heightened around the Korean peninsula and Syrian situations. Last week’s missile strike against Syria saw a spike in the gold price and a flight to safe-haven assets and although these values remain higher, markets have now switched to a more reflective mood as they try to look at the longer term ramifications. The Tump/Xi summit appears to have gone well with no major immediate problems around the trade issue and with agreement to start cabinet-level talks between the two countries with an aim to reach a trade agreement in 100 days. We suspect that most of the talk centred around North Korea and how this could be diffused by more action by China and with a Chinese envoy heading to Korea this week this action may already be underway. Perhaps of more concern is the hardening of attitude over Russia and its continuing support of the Assad regime in Syria. With the US Secretary of State heading to Russia later this week and confusing signals coming from the US over its objectives on Syria, expect markets to remain volatile with sentiment favouring risk-off trades. The major economic news last week was the release of the US March Non-farm payroll data. This was lower than expected at 98,000 new jobs for March, but what was encouraging was a drop in the unemployment rate from 4.7% to 4.5% the lowest level in 10 years. The Fed won’t react to one month’s data, but next month’s NFP will be important as it will give a pointer to whether or not a rate rise is likely for June. The current market view is that there will be two more rate increases by year end.

Major Announcements last week:

  • Canadian Trade Balance -1.0b vs 0.7b expected
  • Global Dairy Trade Price Index +1.6%
  • US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI 55.2 vs 57.0 expected
  • UK Manufacturing Production -0.1% vs +0.3% expected
  • Canadian Employment Change 19.4k vs 5.7k expected
  • US Non-Farm Payrolls Change 98k vs 174k expected
  • US Unemployment Rate 4.5% vs 4.7% expected

NZD/USD

The New Zealand dollar remains under some pressure from the USD. It is now trading at 0.6950 after a 0.6920 low (1 month low) overnight. Economic data still supportive of the NZD but the market is very much reactive to USD moves for the time being. Look for move to the 0.6900 level over the coming week.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
NZD/USD 0.6959 0.6900 0.7020 0.6922 - 0.7000

NZD/AUD (AUD/NZD)

The New Zealand dollar continues to hold firm against its Australian cousin. It’s currently trading around 0.9260 after an overnight high of 0.9282. Poor Aussie jobs data on Thursday could push this cross to 0.9300 and above. We continue to see the risks as skewed to the topside for this pairing.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
NZD / AUD 0.9265 0.9200 0.9300 0.9175 - 0.9290
AUD / NZD 1.0793 1.0799 1.0869 1.0764 - 1.0899

NZD/GBP (GBP/NZD)

We have seen boring trading for the New Zealand dollar vs the UK Pound with the pair still in a sideways pattern between the broad parameters of 0.5575 and 0.5720. At this stage it’s hard to see a breakout from that range unless UK data this week, in the form of inflation and employment numbers, surprises.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
NZD / GBP 0.5590 0.5575 0.5720 0.5569 - 0.5624
GBP / NZD 1.7889 1.7482 1.0869 1.7781 - 1.7957

 NZD/CAD

The New Zealand dollar is lower against the Canadian dollar at 0.9260 as stronger oil prices boost demand the CAD. Fundamentals remain NZD supportive but support at 0.9230 looks to be under threat especially if oil prices hold firm.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
NZD / CAD 0.9261 0.9320 0.9400 0.9254 - 0.9388

NZD/EURO (EURO/NZD)

The New Zealand dollar has traded in a narrow band against the Euro, well within the 0.6450/0.6605 range. It is now around 0.6567 we favour the NZD on this cross and look for a test of 0.6580 over the next few days. Fundamentals remain NZD supportive while political concerns will weight on the Euro. Next stop 0.6610/20

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
NZD/EUR 0.6565 0.6450 0.6605 0.6520 - 0.6575
EUR/NZD 1.5232 1.5140 1.5504 1.5208 - 1.5337

NZD/YEN

The New Zealand dollar remains in a significant downtrend against the Japanese Yen, which started around 83.50 at the end of January. It is now at 77.05 after recovering from the low of 76.65 on Friday as the safe-haven trade trend weakens. Geopolitical concerns still favour the JPY and we look for another test on 76.65 later in the week.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
NZD / YEN 76.93 76.50 78.00 76.68 - 77.51

AUD/USD

The Australian dollar as lost ground against the USD all week.  Now at 0.7506,  we expect support at 0.7500 to give way, targeting 0.7450 later this week. Aussie employment on Thursday if weak would threaten 0.7520.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
AUD / USD 0.7495 0.7450 0.7600 0.7477 - 0.7607

AUD/GBP (GBP/AUD) 

The Australian dollar has stabilised against the UK Pound. It is now at 0.6042 but the risk is on the downside given the better UK data over the last week. A move back towards 0.5980 looks possible as Aussie fundamentals remain soft.  UK data this week in the form of inflation and employment numbers will be key.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
AUD / GBP 0.6033 0.5980 0.6100 0.6030 - 0.6102
GBP / AUD 1.6575 1.6393 1.6722 1.6387 - 1.6584

AUD/EURO (EURO/AUD)

Now trading sideways , currently at 0.7091 and given Australian data continues to be soft we favour a test of 0.7050 over the next few days. If Aussie jobs data on Thursday is weak 0.6990 maybe threatened.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
AUD/EUR 0.7082 0.6990 0.7150 0.7052 - 0.7129
EUR/AUD 1.4121 1.3986 1.4306 1.4027 - 1.4179

AUD/YEN

Now at 83.15 after a low of 82.78 on Friday, with geopolitical risks favouring the JPY another downward towards 82.90 support looks likely.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
AUD/YEN 82.97 82.90 84.00 82.80 - 84.39

AUD/CAD

Now around 0.9998 after slipping against the CAD for most of the week. The next level is around 0.9980 which if broken would target 0.9960 which might be possible later this week.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
AUD / CAD 0.9990 0.9960 1.0050 0.9990 - 1.0178

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To subscribe to our free daily Currency Rate Sheet and News email, enter your email address here.

Email:  

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Market commentary:

The current main market theme continues to centre around a more risk averse sentiment, as tensions remain heightened around the Korean peninsula and Syrian situations. Last week’s missile strike against Syria saw a spike in the gold price and a flight to safe-haven assets and although these values remain higher, markets have now switched to a more reflective mood as they try to look at the longer term ramifications. The Tump/Xi summit appears to have gone well with no major immediate problems around the trade issue and with agreement to start cabinet-level talks between the two countries with an aim to reach a trade agreement in 100 days. We suspect that most of the talk centred around North Korea and how this could be diffused by more action by China and with a Chinese envoy heading to Korea this week this action may already be underway. Perhaps of more concern is the hardening of attitude over Russia and its continuing support of the Assad regime in Syria. With the US Secretary of State heading to Russia later this week and confusing signals coming from the US over its objectives on Syria, expect markets to remain volatile with sentiment favouring risk-off trades. The major economic news last week was the release of the US March Non-farm payroll data. This was lower than expected at 98,000 new jobs for March, but what was encouraging was a drop in the unemployment rate from 4.7% to 4.5% the lowest level in 10 years. The Fed won’t react to one month’s data, but next month’s NFP will be important as it will give a pointer to whether or not a rate rise is likely for June. The current market view is that there will be two more rate increases by year end.

Australia

Australian data continues to disappoint with the AIG performance of construction index easing to 51.2 in March from previous 53.1. This combined with a slide in base metals causing the AUD/USD slide from 0.7550 at the end of last week to its current level around 0.7505. The jobs data due on Thursday could add to the RBA’s problems if it continues to show a weakness in the labour market. With the housing market still on fire and calls for rates to at least stay on hold while ASIC and APRA try to cool housing demand, if data shows rising underemployment and weak wages growth the RBA will be in a dilemma. Continued weak employment data will also weigh on consumer confidence over the next few months and allied to any moderation in housing prices will adversely affect consumer confidence making the RBA’s job even more complex. We remain negative on the AUD and expect support at 0.7500 to break opening the way for a move to the 0.7450 level followed then by 0.7410. A move and hold over 0.7530 would negate this view but we consider this unlikely over the short term.

New Zealand

The New Zealand dollar closed lower last week down 80 points on the open to 0.6930 levels. Non- farm payrolls promised a “risk off” market when figures were disappointing at 98k dropping the value of the New Zealand dollar and sending it comfortably through support at 0.6950 to a low of 0.6930. This week we have seen a softening in retail sales figures falling 0.3% which has raised concerns locally with the slowdown in the housing market and pressure going on for higher interest rates. Support seen at 0.6900 and 0.6850 as the bearish trend continues from the high of 0.7360 7th February. Movement later in the week for the New Zealand dollar will be largely stipulated by offshore news.

United States

US data continues to be solid, underpinning the slow but steady economic recovery. The delay of the Trump tax reform and infrastructure spending policies appears to have been largely digested by the market as the current emphasis has switched to foreign policy, given the tensions in Syria and North Korea. Demand for safe haven assets has eased as financial markets attempt to shrug off Friday’s disappointing U.S. employment figures, however the ratcheting up of geopolitical tensions and Europe’s looming test of populism (French elections) curtailed any extension of optimism. Release of corporate results may provide the next fresh catalyst, with heavyweights JPMorgan Chase & Co, Tesco Plc and Prada SpA due to release earnings reports this week. At an address for the University of Michigan, Fed Chair Yellen said that inflation is still slight below the 2% target and added that it would be appropriate to gradually raise rates if the economy continues to perform well. On the other hand, she also reiterated that she doesn't want to have to raise rates rapidly. "We think a gradual path of rate hikes will get fed to neutral policy stance", Yellen stated. "We can't wait too long to tighten", she added. We look for continuing strength for the USD as the Fed interest rate divergence from that of other central banks continues.

Europe

Concerns over the French Presidential election are still to the fore, with the first round to commence on 24th April. If Marine Le Pen’s achieves support higher than 30%, we expect financial markets to be more concerned ahead of the second round. The market currently expects Emmanuel Macron and Ms Le Pen to make the final runoff, but polls may shift considerably in the final two weeks. So there is a chance of a scenario, where one of the two favourites does not make it into the final runoff. After the first round, endorsements for the two candidates from the remaining candidates may be market moving if they are for Ms Le Pen. Later this week will see Eurozone industrial production and German CPI data. Currently the EUR/USD is trading around 1.0596 vs the USD after making a new 1 month low at 1.0570 overnight. It appears to be having a tough time holding above 1.0600. The tone is weak and only if the EUR can hold above 1.0620/25 would a more sustained recovery look more likely. We favour consolidation around the 1.0570-1.0600 range, with any break of 1.0570 targeting 1.0520/25.

United Kingdom

An increase in exports and strong demand from households have been highlighted as crucial factors driving the UK forward, and now the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development believes there are “tentative signs of growth gaining momentum, although uncertainty related to Brexit remains”. Also adding to the more positive tone was a survey of economists which saw an increase in 2017 growth forecasts on the basis that exports would continue to rise on the combination of a weaker GBP and a strengthening global economy. Data for CPI and PPI will be released tonight. Consumer inflation in the UK has risen above the 2% mark for the first time in more than three years in February amid the weakening GBP since Brexit. Bank of England officials have been voicing their concerns over the rising inflation, and a higher reading could provide the pair with some fresh upside momentum as the markets could start expecting a tighter monetary policy from the BoE. Despite a pullback from an overnight high at 1.2430, the GBP/USD pair continues be resilient, holding onto its daily gains above the 1.24 level. Currently the pair is at 1.2415 with immediate resistance is at 1.2460 before 1.25 (psychological level) and 1.2560 (Mar. 31 high). To the downside, supports are aligned at 1.2400 (psychological level), then 1.2360. Given the failure to break lower last week look for consolidation at current levels with a grind higher over the week.

Japan

The Japanese Yen traded as high as 111.45 Friday despite a poor Non-Farm Employment numbers out of the US. As tensions increase in Syria after an airbase was bombed by the US we have seen the USD taper off on the lack of risk appetite to drop back to fresh lows of 110.70 Tuesday. Reports of US aircraft moving closer to the Korean peninsula have increased the nervousness through the markets. Support is now 110.30 and 110.15 with long term support still 108.30 No significant Japanese Yen news announcements this week.

Canada

Weaker than expected non-farm payroll figures printed Friday sent the Canadian Dollar to 1.3340 and back to 1.3420 closing out the week higher. Canadian House starts for March came in 253k versus 215 adding further fuel to the already inflated housing market. The Canadian dollar has been supported with higher crude oil prices trading up 1.5% early this week to 53.15 a barrel. Higher risk appetite could see the Canadian Dollar trade to 1.3300 with a break below these levels opening up prospects of further downside to 1.3180 support. Monthly manufacturing figures print Thursday.

Daily exchange rates

Select chart tabs »

The 'US$' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'AU$' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'TWI' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The '¥en' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The '¥uan' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The '€uro' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'GBP' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'Bitcoin' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
End of day UTC
Source: CoinDesk

-----------------------------

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.