The AUDUSD opened at 0.6794 (mid-rate), and the NZDUSD opened at 0.6425 (mid-rate) this morning.
The AUD has strengthened on the open this morning after White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said recent phone calls between U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators had produced more “positive news.”
The NZD closed out the week under pressure after the July manufacturing PMI showed the sector is now contracting. The data release revealed the business manufacturing PMI now sits at 48.2 (a reading above 50 indicates expansion) and is the first time the sector has contracted since August 2012.
Friday’s US economic data releases were on the soft-side with the University of Michigan's preliminary consumer sentiment report showing a significant decline in confidence and housing starts plummeting by 4% to an annual rate of 1.191m from the revised June estimate of 1.241m. On a more positive note building permits increased much more than expected, jumping 8.4% in July (exp +4.1%).
Expectations that Central Banks will increase stimulus in an effort to avert a global recession, has seen global equity markets finish the week on a positive note while at the same time adding further downward pressure on treasuries.
Monetary policy minutes from both the RBA and the FOMC along with Euro-zone PMI’s look to be the pick of the international data releases over the course of the week, while local interest will concentrated on Friday’s quarterly retail sales report.
Global equity markets had a positive close on Friday, - Dow +1.20%, S&P 500 +1.44%, FTSE +0.71%, DAX +1.31%, CAC +1.22%, Nikkei +0.06%, Shanghai +0.29%.
Gold prices edged down 1.2% on Friday closing out the week at $1,513 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices were little changed on Friday, closing out the week at $54.81 a barrel.
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