Kiwi Climbs 0.8% against USD to 29-Month High of $0.8682

March 27, 2014

The U.S. dollar also slipped overnight by 0.2% against sterling and 0.1% versus the loonie but has advanced by 0.3% against the euro and Swiss franc, 0.2% relative to the yen and 0.1% versus the yuan.  The Aussie dollar touched a four-month high of USD 0.9246 but is currently unchanged on balance. 

Trading yesterday afternoon got a boost of risk aversion on President Obama’s warning of consequences for Russia for its aggression.  The U.S. president met with EU counterparts in Brussels.  Today he saw the Pope.  Investors are worried about either a return to the cold war or about another example of Obama’s pattern of speaking loudly but carrying a small stick.  Either case is unsettling.

More objects have been spotted by satellite floating in the South Indian Ocean that could be parts of missing Malaysian Flight 370, but time is running down for finding the plane’s black box.

In the Pacific Rim, share prices fell by 0.7% in China, 0.5% in Australia, 0.2% in Hong Kong and 0.1% in Indonesia, but such rose 1.0% in Japan, 0.7% in South Korea, 0.5% in India and 0.6% in Singapore.  In Europe, the British Ftse has fallen 0.4% but shares are narrowly higher in Spain, Switzerland, Italy and Germany.  The Paris Cac is steady.

Yields are unchanged on 10-year Japanese JGBs and German bunds, but the 10-year British gilt dipped a basis point.

Gold fell below $1,300 for the first time in six weeks and is off 0.6% on balance at $1,295.50 per ounce.  WTI oil edged up 0.1% to $100.38 per ounce.

The New Zealand dollar, know also as the kiwi, was bolstered by the report of a fourth straight trade surplus, which equaled NZD 818 million in February and nearly three times larger than in January.

Japan’s economics minister subtly urged the Bank of Japan to augment its stimulus, but there’s no indication that monetary officials are inclined to do anything before sufficient 2Q data are in hand and pointing to a deeper and more lasting drag from the consumption tax hike than the BOJ expects to see.

Japanese stock and bond transactions generated a JPY 141 billion net outflow last week, smaller than the capital outflow of JPY 626 billion in the week of March 13.

South Korean consumer confidence posted a 108 reading in March, same as was printed in February.

Italian business sentiment edged up 0.1 points to 99.2 in March, which was below analyst expectations.

French consumer confidence rose 3 points to a 20-month high of 88 in March.

Finnish consumer confidence improved to 8.5 in March from 8.3 the month before, but Finnish business sentiment stagnated at a reading of negative 8.

British retail sales volume rebounded more strongly than forecast in February, rising 1.7% on month after a 2.0% drop in January.  Core sales increased 1.8% and 4.2% in year-over-year terms.  Overall sales were 3.7% higher than in February 2013.

Continuing subdued Euro area money and credit growth data for February were released.  M3 money recorded on-year growth of 1.3% in February and 1.2% in December-February.  M1 grew 6.2% on year, but short-term deposits other than overnight ones and marketable instruments fell by 2.7% and 11.5%, respectively.  Loans to the private sector dropped 2.2% on year, with those to firms falling 3.0% and mortgage lending up only 0.6%. 

Danish seasonally adjusted unemployment edged down to 4.2% in February from 4.3% in January.

South African PPI inflation accelerated from 7.0% in January to 7.7% last month. 

Australia’s house affordability index fell last quarter for the first time in three years. The central bank’s interest rate is not seen likely to change soon.

The central bank reserve requirement ratio in the Philippines was raised to 19% from 18%, its first change in about two years.  But the overnight lending and borrowing rates were kept unchanged at 5.5% and 3.5%.

The Central Bank of Norway, Norges Bank, kept its key interest rate at 1.5% as analysts were expected. 

Taiwan’s central bank also reaffirmed its policy stance that has a 1.875% interest rate.

Central banks in South Africa and the Czech Republic are scheduled to announce interest rate decision today as well.

Scheduled U.S. data to be released today include the second revision of 4Q GDP, monthly pending home sales and weekly jobless insurance claims.  Bullard and Pianalto of the Federal Reserve speak publicly.

Copyright 2014, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

Tags: , ,


Comments are closed.