March 21, 2019 — 3 min read
The NZD opened at 0.6872, and the AUD opened at 0.7109.
NZ GDP came in as officially expected at 0.6%. There were fears that GDP could come out weaker, so the market reacted positively to the on-the-money figure. Since then however the NZD has retraced most of its move, getting us virtually back to where we started. Given the recent consolidation in rates, it looks like the technical picture exacerbated the move somewhat.
The Australian Unemployment rate came in lower than expected at 4.9% which helped the AUD across the board, but drilling down into the data, the overall figures were not as strong as the headline, and the AUD has also retraced back.
The Fed holding rates steady and the dovish FOMC statement saw a selloff in the USD early yesterday morning. It was actually a fairly solid move of circa 1%, which was relatively surprising given how the statement was expected to be relatively dovish.
The EU are discussing an extension to Brexit, though there is no current consensus on what exact date it would get extended to. The EU are posturing that they will only give an extension if May can get the deal approved through Parliament. They are wary of giving an extension for the sake of it, and ending up in the same position in 2 months’ time.
To my mind, if they rejected the extension, that would force the UK Parliament to finally make a decision, and if they truly believed the decision was between a deal and no deal, one would think the deal would pass. The odds of something so decisive being forced however, seems small. The Bank of England kept interest rates on hold at 0.75%, but until Brexit is sorted, this is really not a focus of the market at all.A fair bit of manufacturing data out of Europe from 21:15 tonight will drive direction for the EUR.
Global equity markets are generally up, - Dow +0.94%, S&P 500 +1.15%, FTSE 0.88%, DAX -0.46%, CAC -0.07%, Nikkei +0.20%, Shanghai +0.35%. Gold prices are up 0.5% trading at $1,308 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices are also higher overnight, up 0.8% trading at $60.17 a barrel.
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