The Opening Bell: Where currencies start on Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Opening Bell: Where currencies start on Thursday, March 1, 2018

By Dan Bell

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7214 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD has lost ground against most of the major currencies. The NZD/USD looks to test support at 0.7200 however the Kiwi gained against the GBP on Brexit updates.

This morning the EU released their draft treaty, and to the disappointment of UK Prime Minister Theresa May the Europeans have announced that Northern Ireland could remain part of the customs union, which puts a spanner in the works for the UK PM, who has already made it clear that Brexit will not split up the UK. The GBP weakened against the other majors particularly the JPY.

U.S. economic growth slowed slightly more than initially thought in Q4 as the strongest pace of consumer spending in three years drew in imports and depleted inventories. U.S. Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.5% annual rate in the final three months of 2017, instead of the previously reported 2.6% pace, the Commerce Department said in its second GDP estimate.

The U.S. Chicago Business Barometer fell 3.8 points to 61.9 in February, down from 65.7 in January, to the lowest level since August 2017. Business activity continued to expand in February, although at a softer pace than in January.

After seeing a modest three-month rise in activity, U.S. Pending Home Sales cooled considerably in January to their lowest level in over three years, according to the National Association of Realtors. All major regions experienced monthly and annual declines in contract signings last month. The Pending Home Sales Index fell 4.7% to 104.6 in January from a downwardly revised 109.8 in December 2017.

Oil futures traded lower overnight after data showed industrial activity in some of the world's major crude-consuming nations has softened. Traders said oil prices declined on concerns of a slowdown in the global economy after three out of the world's top consumers of crude — China, India and Japan — reported a slowdown in monthly factory activity.

In February 2018, the Swiss KOF Economic Barometer rose by 0.4 points to a new reading of 108.0 well above its long term average.

Global equity markets are lower except the US: Dow -0.01%, S&P 500 -+0.22%, FTSE -0.69%, DAX -0.44%, CAC -0.44%, Nikkei +1.44%, Shanghai -0.99%.

Gold prices gained 0.2% currently trading at $1,318 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices are down 0.8% trading at $62.76 a barrel.

Current indicative rates:

NZDUSD 0.7214 -0.4%
NZDEUR  0.5909 -0.1%
NZDGBP 0.5234 0.6%
NZDJPY 76.99 -1.0%
NZDAUD 0.9262 -0.1%
NZDCAD 0.9244 0.2%
GBPNZD 1.9102 -0.6%

Upcoming Data releases (NZST):

  • 10:45am - NZD - Overseas Trade Index q/q
  • 11:30am - NZD - AIG Manufacturing Index
  • 1:30pm - AUD - Private Capital Expenditure q/q

 

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

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USD 
NZD
End of day UTC
Source: CoinDesk

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