The AUDUSD opens steady at 0.6962 and the NZDUSD opens higher at 0.6644 this morning.
The USD rose after the US Fed Chairman Jerome Powell warned the downside risks to the US economy have increased and Trump administration officials signalled a trade deal at the G20 meeting, beginning Friday, is unlikely.
Chairman Powell reiterated the case for lower interest rates and said the Fed is “insulated from short-term political pressures.” In addition, Fed committee member James Bullard said he does not think the US central bank needs to cut rates by 0.50% at its next meeting. There had been some talk of a larger than 0.25% rate cut, but this looks unlikely now, and the USD & Treasury prices gained, while equities fell in value in response.
US data, released overnight, was worse than expected overall, with notable declines in Consumer Confidence and New Home Sales.
Despite the stronger USD, the AUDUSD was resilient and held its ground while strengthening versus the EUR and GBP. Meanwhile, the NZDUSD moved higher, carrying on upwards momentum which began Tuesday afternoon. We're not sure why the NZD outperformed, other than the market being short NZD and squaring up ahead of today’s RBNZ Official Cash Rate (OCR) announcement.
The RBNZ is expected to keep the OCR steady at 1.50% but indicate more interest rate cuts are likely, with market currently pricing in a 0.25% cut for the 7th August meeting. The direction of the NZD will be dictated by the strength of the RBNZ’s comments – the less downbeat they are the more the NZD will rally in response. The RBNZ would not want to see the NZD appreciate too much due to its disinflationary impacts (cheaper imports) and negative effects on the export sector.
The NZDAUD pushed towards 0.9550 – a region last seen early April.
The EURUSD retreated from a 3-month high as the USD main ground.
The GBP weakened as the continuing risk of a non-deal Brexit arising from the UK Prime Ministership contest weighed on the pound.
Global equity markets were lower on the day - Dow -0.7%, S&P 500 -0.9%, FTSE +0.1%, DAX -0.4%, CAC -0.1%, Nikkei -0.4%, Shanghai -0.9%.
Gold prices gained 0.4% to USD$1,423 an ounce, to keep prices near 6-years highs. WTI Crude Oil prices dipped 0.1% to US$57.80 per barrel.
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NZD: RBNZ Official Cash Rate Decision - 14:00 NZST / 12:00 AEST
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