NZD rises to new record high against the EUR but falls back against a very strong USD; more oil price declines expected

Short headline: 
Markets expect Fed hikes, USD soars

By Kymberly Martin

The USD was back on top on Friday, strengthening against all its peers and most emerging market currencies. European currencies were the worst performers amongst developed markets.

The USD strengthened across the board on Friday night. The USD index closed above 100.00 for the first time since early-2003.

The market appears to be pre-positioning for Thursday morning’s (NZT) US FOMC meeting as opposed to responding to US data. In fact US releases were generally disappointing on Friday night. The US Economic Surprise index of aggregate data releases slipped to -60, a three-year low.

However, it comes as little surprise that the most recent CFTC speculative positioning data shows a sharp uptick in (already stretched) long USD positions. Overall, USD net long positions extended to a fresh record.

European currencies were on the backfoot on Friday. The EUR/USD closed below 1.0500 for the first time since Jan-2003. Scandinavian currencies were also poor performers.

The oil price was the other notable mover on Friday night. The WTI prices fell 4.7%, to US$44.80/barrel, not far from its late-Jan post-GFC lows. The IEA’s monthly report noted that US “stocks may soon test storage capacity limits. That would inevitably lead to renewed price weakness, which in turn could trigger the supply cuts that have so far remained elusive.”

The AUD was on a steady descent on Friday, to end the week at just below 0.7640. CFTC speculative positioning data showed AUD net short positions extend to the largest the series has ever seen. These now exceed the large short position that was built as AUD/USD dropped from 1.05 to 0.90 in mid-2013. Today the market will be looking out for a scheduled speech by RBA’s Debelle in Sydney.

NZD/USD declined steadily for most of Friday but still ended the week well above its pre-Monetary Policy Statement levels. From early afternoon levels above 0.7400 the NZD/USD ended the week at 0.7330.

However, on the crosses, the NZD rebounded relative to most of its peers in the early hours of Saturday morning. Notably the NZD/EUR closed at a new high, a smidge below 0.7000.

The week ahead brings a smattering of key NZ events, including Wed morning’s (NZT) GDT dairy auction and Thursday’s release of 4Q GDP.

Still, the fate of the NZD along with many of its peers likely lies with the US FOMC meeting (7am NZT, Thurs).

The Fed will need to remove the word “patient” from its statement and heavily hint at a rate hike within the next few meetings, in order not to disappoint USD bulls.

However, Fed fund futures now price a Fed funds rate at 0.51% at year-end, a position we believe still has potential for further upward revision.

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Daily exchange rates

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verticalAlign: 'top',
//y: 50,
style: {
fontFamily:'Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif',
fontWeight:'bold'
}
},

subtitle : {
text : chart_subtitles_arr[j],
floating:true, //enable us to position the subtitle using 'x' and 'y'
align: 'center',
x:10,
y:15,
style: {
fontFamily:'Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif',
},
},

xAxis: {
type:'datetime',
lineWidth: 20,
// gridLineColor:'#FAFFFF',
// gridLineDashStyle:'Dot',
dateTimeLabelFormats: {
day: '%e-%b',
week: '%e-%b',
month: '%b-%y',
year: '%Y'
},
max:xpad,
events: {
setExtremes: function(e) {
if (e.trigger === "navigator") {
max=e.max+padding_value;
var x=this;
setTimeout(function(){
x.setExtremes(e.min,max); //chart xAxis
}, 4);
}
}
},
labels: {
style: {
color: 'black',
fontSize: '10px',
fontWeight:'bold',
fontFamily:'Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif'
},
y:3
}
},

yAxis: {
opposite: true,
startonTick: true,
endonTick: true,
labels: {
formatter: function() {
return Highcharts.numberFormat(this.value,setdecimalpoints(this.value));
},
style: {
color: 'black',
fontSize: '10px',
fontWeight:'normal'
},
y:-12
}
},

scrollbar: {
liveRedraw: false
},

series : [{
data : finalAr[i],
id: 'dataseries',
lineWidth:3,
pointPlacement: 'on',
zIndex:9999,
name : 'AAPL Stock Price',
shadow:{
width:3,
color:'#000000'
},
lineColor:'#FF0000',
type : 'area',
threshold : null,
tooltip : {
valueDecimals : decimal_arr[i],
useHTML: true,
headerFormat:'

{point.key}
‘,
pointFormat: ‘{point.y}
‘,
footerFormat:’

‘,
},
dataGrouping:{
dateTimeLabelFormats: {
hour:[‘%b-%e,%Y’, ‘%b-%e,%Y’, ”],
day: [‘%b-%e,%Y’, ‘%b-%e,%Y’, ‘-%b %e, %Y’],
week: [‘%e-%b,%Y’, ‘%e-%b,%Y’, ‘-%e %b, %Y’],
month:[‘%b-%y’, ‘%b-%y’, ‘-%b %y %Y’],
year: [‘%Y’, ‘%Y’, ‘-%Y’] }
},
fillColor: {
linearGradient: { x1: 0, y1: 0, x2: 0, y2: 1},
stops: [
[0, ‘#FFD8D5’],
[1, ‘rgba(255,255,255,0)’] ] },
fillOpacity:.01
},
{
type: ‘flags’,
useHTML: true,
name: ‘Flags on series’,
data: JSON.parse(“[“+flag_test+”]”),
onSeries: ‘dataseries’,
shape: “url(/sites/all/libraries/InterestHighcharts/images/balloon.jpg)”,
width : 5,
y: -33 //this is for flag
}]

});
}
});
//$(‘.series’).animate({height: 600, width: 800});

})(jQuery);

We update this chart twice each day, from the same data the drives our 'live-rates' charts.

Read full story

All its research is available here.