The Opening Bell: Where currencies start on Wednesday, May 24, 2017

By Dan Bell

The NZDUSD opens at 0.7005 (mid-rate) this morning.

The NZD continues to outperform, extending yesterday’s gains against all its main rivals, with the NZDUSD rate trading to a high of 0.7041. Investors remain in a cautious mood and will look to tomorrow’s Fed minutes for further hints about a US rate hike in June before adding to their positions.

The JPY has weakened after an IHS Markit report showed Japan’s manufacturing activity expanded at the weakest pace in 6mths. The Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 52.0 in May following a 52.7 reading in April. The index had been forecast to rise to 52.9.

The GBP slid lower yesterday following the terror attack in Manchester, England, where 22 people were killed and 59 injured by a suspected suicide bomber at the end of an Ariana Grande concert.

German Ifo Business Sentiment is at record highs with the index rising to 114.6in May up from an upwardly revised 113.0 in April. The index had been expected to edge up to 113.1.

New home sales in the US for the month of April fell by 11.4% to an annual rate of 569k from an upwardly revised 642k in March. The result comes up well short of the expected 602k of new home sales. The sharpest drop came in the West where sales plummeted by 26.3%.

This morning’s Trade Balance is expected to show a surplus of 268m down from 332m in April.

Current indicative rates:

NZDUSD       0.7005       0.2%
NZDEUR       0.6265       0.7%
NZDGBP       0.5406       0.5%
NZDJPY        78.29         0.7%
NZDAUD       0.9369       0.2%
NZDCAD       0.9468       0.3%
GBPNZD       1.8497      -0.5%


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

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