US dollar weakness which saw the NZDUSD rate climb back above 0.7400 during our trading day on Friday, abated following better-than-expected US economic data.
The USD rallied against its rivals on Friday as housing data and consumer sentiment data releases printed ahead of expectations. The Commerce Department reported housing starts spiked by 9.7% in January, well ahead of the forecast 3.5% rise, while building permits for the same period surged to an annual rate of 1.4m (exp 1.3m).
The University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment reading for the month of February came in at 99.9 following January’s final reading of 95.7, economists had expected the index to inch down to 95.7.
Thursday morning’s FOMC meeting minutes will be the main focus for investors during the week ahead, while key drivers for the NZD will be Wednesday morning’s dairy trade auction and Friday’s Q4 retail sales data release.
US equity markets had a positive close on Friday, - Dow +0.08%, S&P 500 +0.04%, FTSE +0.83%, DAX +0.86%, CAC +1.13%, Nikkei +1.19%, Shanghai +0.45%.
Gold prices pushed higher on Friday, up 0.4% closing out the week back above $1350 an ounce at $1,356, WTI Crude Oil prices pushed higher on Friday, up 1.4%, on the day to $61.68 for a weekly gain of 4.2%.
Current indicative rates:
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