Roger J Kerr says higher commodity prices and inflation are positive for the Kiwi dollar

By Roger J Kerr

As expected, global geo-political tensions surrounding North Korea and Syria have not escalated any further over this past week and the media/financial markets are now starting to switch their attention to political risk in Europe as the first round results of the French Presidential elections come in.

Safe haven flows that strengthened the Yen two weeks ago are now unwinding.

At the time of writing the currency markets have bought Euros against the USD as European political risk is seen as reduced due to Emmanuel Macron  being well ahead of anti-EU candidate, Marine Le Pen in voter support for the second round of voting in two weeks. The EUR/USD exchange rate has jumped to $1.0930 from $1.0700 on the perceived political risk reduction. 

Two weeks ago a negative CPI inflation figure for the month of March in the US weakened the US dollar to above $1.0800 against the Euro as the flip-floppy US interest rate markets laid bets that the US Federal Reserve would lift short-term rates by less than the planned two further increase in 2017.

The Fed are highly unlikely to alter their current stance on one month’s inflation numbers (which appear to be an aberration). Therefore, a pullback in the EUR/USD rate to the $1.0600 area is my view once the European markets realise that interest rate differentials are more important to the Euro’s value than political developments.

The FX markets will not need reminding that voters can make the polls look silly as we saw with the Brexit result last June. The latest Euro strength may well prove to be short-lived.

The UK Pound exchange rate ramped up to $1.2800 from $1.2400 on the surprise UK snap election announcement last week. It is hard to fathom why the Pound should appreciate on the UK Conservative Party securing a larger mandate from the people to negotiate the EU exit terms and process.

The Europeans on the other side of the negotiating table will not be changing their attitudes and bottom lines on a nation that voted to leave the family and go it alone.

A stronger US dollar against the Euro from here will also pull the Pound down from the current $1.2800 level as the Pound will not move in the opposite direction to the Euro.

Therefore, the NZD/GBP cross-rate is not expected to last too long at the lower 0.5480 level and GBP exporters should be loading up on long term currency hedging at current spot entry rates.

The NZD/USD exchange rate has retained its stability and composure around 0.7000 over recent weeks. If there is a bias for future direction it will be marginally higher due to two local and independent positives for the Kiwi dollar:-

  • Our commodity prices continue to increase in international export markets. Whilst whole milk powder prices have recovered smartly to above US$3,100/MT, other key prices for lamb, beef, aluminium, logs and horticulture are also on the rise. The ANZ Commodity Price Index in USD terms is highly correlated to NZD/USD movements and currently the commodity price index points to the Kiwi dollar being closer to 0.7500.
  • Last week’s CPI inflation increase for the March quarter at 1.00% was not only above the market consensus forecasts of +0.70%, however it was considerably above the RBNZ’s February forecast of +0.30%. Whilst the RBNZ could not have anticipated the sharp increases in food prices over the first two months of the year, it does mean that the starting point for their annual inflation forecasts for 2017 and 2018 is much higher than they would have been previously factoring in. It is hard to see food prices reversing back down in a hurry when the incredibly wet weather throughout New Zealand is making the harvesting and planting of grains, vegetables and fruit very difficult right now. Short supplies are continuing to push prices to the end consumer upwards. Moreover, the overall inflation rate is no longer been held at very low levels by price decreases in tradable inflation (imported consumer goods). Add in rampant increases in construction costs and the possibility of wage increases finally lifting and the inflation picture is a lot different going forward compared to the benign conditions over recent years. Net result is the increasing likelihood that the RBNZ will be forced by the data later in the year to bring forward their first OCR interest rate increase to early/mid 2018. The FX markets will mark the Kiwi higher well before that time on the expectation that New Zealand will be the first economy behind the US to increase interest rates and normalise monetary policy settings.

The prospects of future interest rate increases and higher NZ commodity prices differentiate the Kiwi dollar to be preferred over the Aussie dollar by international investors/currency traders at this time.

Gains for the Kiwi will however be tempered by the risk of capital flows exiting New Zealand should US share markets correct down and the NZX follows, as well as political/economic policy risks around the September general election.

Email:  


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Daily exchange rates

<!–

var root_url = "http://www.interest.co.nz/charts-csv/";
var tabs_count="7";
var csvfiles_loc= ["/charts-csv/chart_data/exchangerates/daily-usd.csv"," /charts-csv/chart_data/exchangerates/daily-aud.csv"," /charts-csv/chart_data/exchangerates/daily-twi.csv"," /charts-csv/chart_data/exchangerates/daily-yen.csv"," /charts-csv/chart_data/exchangerates/daily-yuan.csv"," /charts-csv/chart_data/exchangerates/daily-eur.csv"," /charts-csv/chart_data/exchangerates/daily-gbp.csv"];
var chart_title_arr= ["US dollar","Australian dollar","Trade weighted index","Japanese Yen","Chinese Yuan","Euro","British pound"];
var chart_subtitles_arr= ["Daily benchmark rate","Daily benchmark rate","Daily benchmark rate","Daily benchmark rate","Daily benchmark rate","Daily benchmark rate","Daily benchmark rate"];
var tab_titles_arr= ["US$","AU$","TWI","u00a5en","u00a5uan","u20acuro","GBP"];
var source_arr= ["RBNZ","RBNZ","RBNZ","RBNZ","RBNZ","RBNZ","RBNZ"];
var source_hyperlink_arr= ["8"];
var tabswidth="8";
var decimal_arr= ["4","4","4","2","2","4","4"];

// variable declaration
var xpad;
var padding_value=0;
var range_selector=0
var loc;
var updt;
var val_num;
var vi=0;
var max_val;
var x;

var finalAr = new Array();
for (var i = 0; i <= tabs_count; i++) {
finalAr[i] = new Array();
}
var flagAr = new Array();
for (var i = 0; i <= tabs_count; i++) {
flagAr[i] =[];
}
var yaxisAr = new Array();
for (var i = 0; i 536)
{
var b = arr.length – 536; // to get last 36 points
}
else if (arr.length < 536)
{
var b = 537 – arr.length;
}
else if(arr.length == 536)
{
var b=2;
}

// to generate the format for date representation in x axis

var timestamweek = 604800000;
var timestamday = 86400000;
var timestammonth30 = 2592000000;
var timestammonth31 = 2678400000;
var timestamyear = 31536000000;
var timestamquarterly = 7776000000;

for (var u=0;u<2;u++) {
arr[u] = parseLineCSV(arr[u]);
fomat= String(arr[u][0]);
var k=0;

do {
k++;
} while(fomat.charAt(k)!="-")
var k1 =k;

do {
k++;
} while(fomat.charAt(k)!="-")
var k2=k;

do {
k++;
} while(k<fomat.length)
var k3=k;

var dd= fomat.substring(0,k1);
var mm = fomat.substring(k1+1,k2);
var yy = "20"+fomat.substring(k2+1,k3+1);
var yy1=fomat.substring(k2+1,k3+1);

// conversion of months into numerical form

//+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
if (mm == "Jan")
{
mm= "01";
}
else if (mm == "Feb")
{
mm= "02";
}

else if (mm == "Mar")
{
mm= "03";
}

else if (mm == "Apr")
{
mm= "04";
}

else if (mm == "May")
{
mm= "05";
}

else if (mm == "Jun")
{
mm= "06";
}

else if (mm == "Jul")
{
mm= "07";
}

else if (mm == " Aug")
{
mm= "08";
}

else if (mm == "Sep")
{
mm= "09";
}

else if (mm == "Oct")
{
mm= "10";
}

else if (mm == "Nov")
{
mm= "11";
}

else if (mm == "Dec")
{
mm= "12";
}

// +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

var date2 = mm+"/"+dd+"/"+yy;

if (u==0)
{
var timestam1 = Date.parse(date2);
}
else if(u==1)
{
var timestam2 = Date.parse(date2);
}
}
var timestamvar = (timestam2- timestam1);
var flagAR_count=0;
for (var i=2;i<arr.length;i++) {
flagAR_count++;
var tempAr = new Array();
var tempAr1 = new Array();
arr[i] = parseLineCSV(arr[i]);
if (arr[i]!='')
{

fomat= String(arr[i][0]);
replic=String(arr[i][0]);
var k=0;

do {
k++;
} while(fomat.charAt(k)!="-")
var k1 =k;

do {
k++;
} while(fomat.charAt(k)!="-")
var k2=k;

do {
k++;
} while(k<fomat.length)
var k3=k;

var dd= fomat.substring(0,k1);
var mm = fomat.substring(k1+1,k2);
var current_year=""+new Date().getFullYear();
var c_year=Number(current_year.substring(2,4));
var c_data=Number(''+fomat.substring(k2+1,k3+1));
if(c_data c_year)
{
var yy = “19”+fomat.substring(k2+1,k3+1);
}
else if(c_data == c_year)
{
var yy = “20”+fomat.substring(k2+1,k3+1);
}
// conversion of months into numerical form

//+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
if (mm == “Jan”)
{
mm= “01”;
}
else if (mm == “Feb”)
{
mm= “02”;
}

else if (mm == “Mar”)
{
mm= “03”;
}

else if (mm == “Apr”)
{
mm= “04”;
}

else if (mm == “May”)
{
mm= “05”;
}

else if (mm == “Jun”)
{
mm= “06”;
}

else if (mm == “Jul”)
{
mm= “07”;
}

else if (mm == “Aug”)
{
mm= “08”;
}

else if (mm == “Sep”)
{
mm= “09”;
}

else if (mm == “Oct”)
{
mm= “10”;
}

else if (mm == “Nov”)
{
mm= “11”;
}

else if (mm == “Dec”)
{
mm= “12”;
}
// +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

var date = mm+”/”+dd+”/”+yy;

var timestam_1 = Date.parse(date);
var timestam= timestam_1+86400000; //86400000 added to get correct timezone output from Date.parse
var time4 = new Date(timestam);
var Weeko = time4.getDay();
var dd2 = time4.getDate();
var mm2 = time4.getMonth();
var flag_y=arr[i][1];
var ahref_title=”Click here for full story”;
if(arr[i][2]) {
var url=arr[i][2];
var flag_date='{“x”:’+timestam+’, “title”:”  “,”text”:”Click here for Story!”}’;

flagAr[csvgen_counter].push(flag_date);
}
var yy2 = time4.getFullYear();
var yy3 = yy2+””;
var yy4= yy3.substring(2,4);
//++++++++++++++++++++++++this for days conversion++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
if (Weeko==1)
{
Weeko = “Mon”;
}

else if (Weeko==2)
{
Weeko = “Tue”;
}

else if (Weeko==3)
{
Weeko = “Wed”;
}

else if (Weeko==4)
{
Weeko = “Thu”;
}

else if (Weeko==5)
{
Weeko = “Fri”;
}

else if (Weeko==6)
{
Weeko = “Sat”;
}

else if (Weeko==0)
{
Weeko = “Sun”;
}

//+++++++++++++++++++++++this is for month conversion+++++

if (mm2==0)
{
mm2 = “Jan”;
}

else if (mm2==1)
{
mm2 = “Feb”;
}

else if (mm2==2)
{
mm2 = “Mar”;
}

else if (mm2==3)
{
mm2 = “Apr”;
}

else if (mm2==4)
{
mm2 = “May”;
}

else if (mm2==5)
{
mm2 = “Jun”;
}

else if (mm2==6)
{
mm2 = “Jul”;
}

else if (mm2==7)
{
mm2 = “Aug”;
}

else if (mm2==8)
{
mm2 = “Sep”;
}

else if (mm2==9)
{
mm2 = “Oct”;
}

else if (mm2==10)
{
mm2 = “Nov”;
}

else if (mm2==11)
{
mm2 = “Dec”;
}
//++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

//weekly
if ( timestamvar == timestamweek)
{
fomat2=dd2+”-“+mm2+”-“+yy4;
padding_value=timestamweek;
range_selector=2;
}

// Daily
else if ( timestamvar = timestamyear)
{
fomat2=mm2+”-“+yy4;
padding_value=timestamyear;
range_selector=3;
}

//monthly
else if ((timestamvar <= timestammonth30)&&(timestamvar = timestamquarterly)
{
fomat2=mm2+”-“+yy4;
padding_value=timestamquarterly;
range_selector=3;
}

else
{
fomat2=dd2+”-“+mm2+”-“+yy4;
padding_value=timestamday;
range_selector=3;
}

arr[i][0]= fomat2;
var decpad;
decpad = parseFloat(arr[i][1]);
arr[i][1] = decpad;

if(i==(arr.length-1))
{

// Functionality to get the last value

var xvalu=dd2+”-“+mm2+”-“+yy4;
var yvalu= String(arr[i][1]);
var xyvalu=”Latest value at “+xvalu+” is “+yvalu;
updt=”Updated on “+xvalu;
}

tempAr.push(timestam);
if(!arr[i][1])
{
arr[i][1]=null;
}
yaxisAr[csvgen_counter].push(arr[i][1]);
// tempAr1.push(timestam);
// tempAr2.push(tempAr1);
tempAr.push(arr[i][1]);
last_val=timestam;
finalAr[csvgen_counter].push(tempAr);
}
xpad=last_val+padding_value; //*****************to end up graph early//////
if(arr[i]== “”)
{
vi=arr.length-i;
arr.length=arr.length-vi;
i=arr.length-1;
fomat = replic;

var k=0;

do {
k++;
} while(fomat.charAt(k)!=”-“)
var k1 =k;

do {
k++;
} while(fomat.charAt(k)!=”-“)
var k2=k;

do {
k++;
} while(k<fomat.length)
var k3=k;

var dd= fomat.substring(0,k1);
var mm = fomat.substring(k1+1,k2);
var yy = "20"+fomat.substring(k2+1,k3+1);

// conversion of months into numerical form

//+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
if (mm == "Jan")
{
mm= "01";
}
else if (mm == "Feb")
{
mm= "02";
}

else if (mm == "Mar")
{
mm= "03";
}

else if (mm == "Apr")
{
mm= "04";
}

else if (mm == "May")
{
mm= "05";
}

else if (mm == "Jun")
{
mm= "06";
}

else if (mm == "Jul")
{
mm= "07";
}

else if (mm == "Aug")
{
mm= "08";
}

else if (mm == "Sep")
{
mm= "09";
}

else if (mm == "Oct")
{
mm= "10";
}

else if (mm == "Nov")
{
mm= "11";
}

else if (mm == "Dec")
{
mm= "12";
}
// +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

var date = mm+"/"+dd+"/"+yy;
//here flagAr may be
var timestam = Date.parse(date);
var time4 = new Date(timestam);
var Weeko = time4.getDay();
var dd2 = time4.getDate();
var mm2 = time4.getMonth();

var yy2 = time4.getFullYear();
var yy3 = yy2+"";
var yy4= yy3.substring(2,4);
//++++++++++++++++++++++++this for days conversion++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
if (Weeko==1)
{
Weeko = "Mon";
}

else if (Weeko==2)
{
Weeko = "Tue";
}

else if (Weeko==3)
{
Weeko = "Wed";
}

else if (Weeko==4)
{
Weeko = "Thu";
}

else if (Weeko==5)
{
Weeko = "Fri";
}

else if (Weeko==6)
{
Weeko = "Sat";
}

else if (Weeko==0)
{
Weeko = "Sun";
}

//+++++++++++++++++++++++this is for month conversion+++++

if (mm2==0)
{
mm2 = "Jan";
}

else if (mm2==1)
{
mm2 = "Feb";
}

else if (mm2==2)
{
mm2 = "Mar";
}

else if (mm2==3)
{
mm2 = "Apr";
}

else if (mm2==4)
{
mm2 = "May";
}

else if (mm2==5)
{
mm2 = "Jun";
}

else if (mm2==6)
{
mm2 = "Jul";
}

else if (mm2==7)
{
mm2 = "Aug";
}

else if (mm2==8)
{
mm2 = "Sep";
}

else if (mm2==9)
{
mm2 = "Oct";
}

else if (mm2==10)
{
mm2 = "Nov";
}

else if (mm2==11)
{
mm2 = "Dec";
}
//++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

//weekly
if ( timestamvar == timestamweek)
{
fomat2=dd2+"-"+mm2+"-"+yy4;
}

// Daily
else if ( timestamvar = timestamyear)
{
fomat2=mm2+”-“+yy4;
}

//monthly
else if ((timestamvar <= timestammonth30)&&(timestamvar = timestamquarterly)
{
fomat2=mm2+”-“+yy4;
}

arr[i][0]= fomat2;
var decpad;

decpad = parseFloat(arr[i][1]);
//arr[i][1] = roundVal(decpad);
arr[i][1] = decpad;
if(i==(arr.length-1))
{

var xvalu=dd2+”-“+mm2+”-“+yy4;
var yvalu= String(arr[i][1]);
var xyvalu=”Latest value at “+xvalu+” is “+yvalu;
updt=”Updated on “+xvalu;
}
}

}
}

//other required functions

//chart configuration starts here

function getXMLHttpRequest(file) {

//var arrSignatures = [“MSXML2.XMLHTTP.5.0”, “MSXML2.XMLHTTP.4.0″,
//”MSXML2.XMLHTTP.3.0”, “MSXML2.XMLHTTP”,
//”Microsoft.XMLHTTP”];

//for (var i=0; i < arrSignatures.length; i++) {

try
{
var xmlhttp = new window.XMLHttpRequest();
xmlhttp.open("POST",file,false);
return xmlhttp;
}
catch(e)
{
error=e.message;
}

//}
throw new Error("MSXML is not installed on your system.");
}

function readCSV(locfile) {
// load a whole csv file, and then split it line by line
var req = new getXMLHttpRequest(locfile);
//req.open("POST",locfile,false);
req.send("");
return req.responseText.split(/n/g);
}

function parseLineCSV(lineCSV) {
// parse csv line by line into array
var CSV = new Array();

lineCSV = lineCSV.replace(/,/g," ,");

lineCSV = lineCSV.split(/,/g);

// This is continuing of 'split' issue in IE
// remove all trailing space in each field
for (var i=0;i<lineCSV.length;i++) {
lineCSV[i] = lineCSV[i].replace(/s*$/g,"");
}

lineCSV[lineCSV.length-1]=lineCSV[lineCSV.length-1].replace(/^s*|s*$/g,"");
var fstart = -1;

for (var i=0;i=0) {
for (var j=fstart+1;j<=i;j++) {
lineCSV[fstart]=lineCSV[fstart]+","+lineCSV[j];
lineCSV[j]="-DELETED-";

}
fstart=-1;
}
}
fstart = (lineCSV[i].match(/^"/)) ? i : fstart;
}

var j=0;

for (var i=0;i<lineCSV.length;i++) {
if (lineCSV[i]!="-DELETED-") {
CSV[j] = lineCSV[i];
j++;
}

}

return CSV;
}

function roundVal(val_num){
var dec = 2;
var result = Math.round(val_num*Math.pow(10,dec))/Math.pow(10,dec);
return result;
}

function setdecimalpoints(deca)
{
var deca1= deca;
var deca2= parseInt(deca);
if((deca1-deca2)!=0)
{
return 2;
}
else
{
return 0;
}
}
for(i=0;i

Charts loading…
Charts loading…
Charts loading…
Charts loading…
Charts loading…
Charts loading…
Charts loading…

 

Roger J Kerr contracts to PwC in the treasury advisory area. He specialises in fixed interest securities and is a commentator on economics and markets. More commentary and useful information on fixed interest investing can be found at rogeradvice.com