The Opening Bell: Where currencies start on Monday, May 22, 2017

By Dan Bell

The NZDUSD opens at 0.6931 (mid-rate) this morning.

In the absence of any notable US economic data releases currency markets traded in an orderly fashion on Friday with the USD remaining under pressure due to political uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration.

Friday’s Euro-zone data releases printed ahead of expectations with consumer confidence strengthening for the third consecutive month in May, while Germany’s producer prices increased by 3.4% y/y in April after recording. 3.1% rise in March. This represents the largest increase since December 2011.

Global equity markets continued to recover from their mid-week sell off with all the major averages closing out the week in positive territory, but still down on a weekly basis.

There is very little in the way of domestic economic data releases ahead of Thursday’s annual budget release, while internationally Thursday morning’s FOMC meeting minutes will be scrutinised by investors for clues on the timing of the next rate move.  Currently the market is pricing in a 76% chance of a hike in June.

Global equity markets had a positive close to the week – Dow +0.69%, S&P 500 +0.67%, FTSE +0.46%, DAX +0.39%, CAC +0.66%, Nikkei +0.19%, Shanghai +0.02%.

Gold prices edged higher on Friday closing out the week at $1,255 an ounce for a weekly gain of 2.1%. WTI Crude Oil prices spiked 5% over the course of the week, and closed on Friday back above $50, at $50.33 barrel.

Current indicative rates:

NZDUSD       0.6931       0.6%
NZDEUR       0.6187      -0.3%
NZDGBP       0.5323      -0.1%
NZDJPY        77.10         0.3%
NZDAUD       0.9281      -0.1%
NZDCAD       0.9367      -0.1%
GBPNZD       1.8786       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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