February 21, 2019 — 3 min read
The AUD opened down today at 0.7078, and the NZD opened down at 0.6802.
The most compelling headlines were out of Australia yesterday afternoon, with the Kiwi standing mostly in the shadows. First up, Australia's employment data came in strong at a net 39,000 new jobs added. This news lifted the AUD by half a percent, and market conditions were looking good.
Unfortunately, this positive move quickly reversed back to where it started. A report from Westpac Australia predicts two rate cuts by the end of the year. Following closely on this report, news came out of China that one of their ports, the Dalian port, had banned coal imports from Australia. This ban is indefinite for now, with concerns being it will only escalate trade tensions further.
A string of reasonably poor US manufacturing data last night helped stem some of the fall of the US dollar. The announcement was not Tier 1 data, but it doesn't help the overall US economic growth picture.
Brexit talks continue in Brussels, with conflicting headlines as to their success. The UK PM’s spokesperson said May and EU President Jean-Claude Juncker "are constructive" and "have been making progress.” Juncker was sporting a plaster during the discussions, though Juncker said May was not the cause of his minor injury.
The RBA’s Lowe has a 3 hour speech from 11:30 this morning, with a lot of Fed speakers as well overnight. Any market moves out of that lot though would be relatively surprising.
Global equity markets are inching higher, - Dow -0.32%, S&P 500 -0.26%, FTSE -0.85%, DAX +0.19%, CAC +0.00%, Nikkei +0.15%, Shanghai -0.34%.Gold prices are off, down -1.2% at $1,328 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices are following the trend, also down -0.8% trading at $56.85 a barrel.
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