The Opening Bell: Where currencies start on Monday, March 12, 2018

By Dan Bell

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7291 (mid-rate) this morning.

Stronger than expected job growth in the US failed to boost the USD with investors concerned over the slowdown in pace of wage growth. Friday’s labour department report showed non-farm payroll employment increased up by 313k jobs in February following on from an upwardly revised 239k jobs in January. Economists had expected employment to climb by 200k jobs, equalling the previously increase for January. Unfortunately for the USD the surge in jobs was countered by a pullback in the pace of wage growth which dipped to 2.6% in February from 2.8% in January. Unemployment also failed to meet expectations with the rate remaining at 4.1%, economists had expected the rate to edge down to 4%.

The EUR came under pressure late on Friday after the Destatis industrial production report showed Germany’s industrial production for January unexpectedly fell 0.1% m/m. the rate had been expected to increase by 0.7%.

As expected the Bank of Japan kept its monetary stimulus unchanged on Friday with board members once again voting to hold their target of raising the amount of outstanding JGB holdings at an annual pace of about JPY 80 trillion.

The key domestic driver for the NZD this week will be Thursday’s Q4 quarterly GDP report with the market currently expecting and increase of 0.8%.

Global equity markets closed for the week broadly higher, – Dow +1.77%, S&P 500 +1.73%, FTSE +0.30%, DAX -0.07%, CAC +0.39%, Nikkei +0.47%, Shanghai +0.57%.

Gold prices pushed higher on Friday, up 0.4% closing out the week at $1,326 an ounce, WTI Crude Oil prices pushed surged higher on Friday, up 2.6%, on the day to close out the week back above $62.00 a barrel.

Current indicative rates:

NZDUSD 0.7291 0.5%
NZDEUR  0.5919 0.4%
NZDGBP 0.5261 0.1%
NZDJPY 77.69 0.9%
NZDAUD 0.9285 -0.5%
NZDCAD 0.9342 -0.6%
GBPNZD 1.9008 -0.1%

 

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Dan Bell is the senior currency strategist at HiFX in Auckland. You can contact him here »

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Source: CoinDesk