Daily Economic Commentary: New Zealand

Risk appetite was in full swing again last Friday, keeping the NZD well bought against the USD throughout the European and US trading session. Given how NZD has been almost purely driven by degrees in risk appetite, the NZDUSD pair could make a new set of yearly highs if this kind of optimistic sentiment continues.

Tomorrow, New Zealand�s report on inflation expectations for the second quarter of 2009 is due. The report asks businesses how much they think the average prices of goods and services would change over the following two years. Results of the report will be released at 5 am GMT.

Range bound motion brought the NZDUSD up and down yesterday, although it did test the yearly high at .6887. Resistance was strong however, as the pair could not make a new high. The pair eventually closed at .6852, just a few pips above its opening price.

Early today, at 3:00 am GMT, the Inflation Expectations report will be released. The report is expected to show that inflation to be at 2.2%. I wouldn’t expect any surprises here, although take note that inflation has been falling the past 4 quarters.

Tomorrow at 10:45 pm GMT, we have the New Zealand Trade Balance coming up. It is expected to show a major decrease in the deficit from 417 million NZD to 139 million NZD.

With much more data being released today, will we see more volatility and movement today? Can the NZD hit new highs in intra-day trading?

The Kiwi ended the day virtually unchanged yesterday as it was unable to pocket its earlier gains. Inflation expectations posted a tiny uptick, showing that price levels are foreseen to stay more or less the same for the next months.

Inflation expectations for the two-year horizon stepped up a notch from 2.2% last quarter to 2.3% this quarter. For the one-year horizon, inflation expectations were unchanged at 1.8%. This suggests that the RBNZ would take a while to shift into a more hawkish monetary policy stance, let alone implement rate hikes.

Trade balance figures are due from New Zealand at 10:45 pm GMT today. The nation’s trade deficit is expected to narrow from 417 million NZD to 139 million NZD in July. If the actual figure meets or beats the consensus, then we might see a little more upward price action in the NZD/USD.

The NZD moved lower against the JPY and USD in yesterday�s trading due to some tentativeness in the global capitals markets, particularly in the US. While conditions are still improving, the mixed economic results in the US caused investors to step on the side line in the mean time.

In today�s report, New Zealand�s negative trade balance (trade deficit) shrunk but still came in worse than expected at �N$163 million. The account was projected to improve to �N$139 million from last month�s �N$332 million figure. Domestic demand has been falling due to the rise in New Zealand�s unemployment rate. With local demand falling, such gives more pressure on the country to sell their products (commodities) overseas in order to fuel their economic growth.

The NZD fell following the release.

Meanwhile, US�s preliminary GDP for the 3rd quarter is expected to shrink by 1.4%. A run of risk aversion would definitely be bearish for the NZD.

The NZD was finally able to advance against the USD late into the US session yesterday. The rally was fast and furious yet buyers weren�t strong enough to pierce through this year�s highest price levels. It ended the day just a few pips shy of the 0.6900 handle.

The report on building consents for July released a few hours back showed that the number of new building approvals rose by 5% from -9.6% in June. Despite the sudden jump, I wouldn�t give much significance to that as results tend to be very volatile month over month.

No economic data left for New Zealand today but expect to see the NBNZ Business Confidence survey on Monday at 5 am GMT.

The NZD fell on Friday, as we saw the USD rally across the board. The NZDUSD closed at .6837. The pair had been setting yearly highs in past weeks � is this the week we see it blow past the .6900 barrier?

Early today, the NBNZ Business Confidence report will be released at 3:00 am GMT. July�s release had a reading of 18.7. It has been improving as of late � will this month�s release follow the trend?

Pretty lonely week for the NZD, as it�s got no (economic) dates scheduled. Thus, action will be dictated by sentiment in the market, as well as market moving news from other countries.

Despite the sharp rise in business confidence, the NZDUSD started the day with a slow crawl towards the .6800 level. It recovered most of its losses after the release of stronger than expected Chicago PMI figures. Still, the pair’s movement kept within its usual range.

The National Bank of New Zealand reported that their gauge of business confidence climbed from 18.7 to 34.2 in August. Among the components of the indicator, the construction industry posted the largest improvement.

New Zealand’s economic calendar is quiet for today with no economic reports due. Price action of the NZD could be mostly affected by Australia’s release of their official cash rate and rate statement at 4:30 am GMT today. If the RBA gives a bullish outlook on the Australian economy, things could bode well for both the AUD and NZD.

The Kiwi was like humpty dumpty yesterday as it fell and cracked after breaking down from its consolidation. The NZD/USD and NZD/JPY pairs were just ranging for the most part of yesterday. It, however, made a nosedive during the mid part of the US session.

No economic reports were due yesterday in New Zealand. Higher yielding assets like the NZD lost favor during the US session despite the positive outcomes in the ISM manufacturing PMI and pending home sales. There was a collective selling of stocks and higher yielding assets as investors thought that such positive economic data are already priced in the markets.

Today will be likewise idle in New Zealand in terms of economic updates. The NZD may decline further if investors continue to shy away from the capitals markets.

Ho hum, looks like the Kiwi has taken a break after free falling against the dollar last Tuesday. The NZD/USD pair closed the US trading session just 20 pips lower from its Asian open.

Today might prove to the same as only the report on commodity prices for the month of August is due. The report, which will be due at 2 am GMT, measures the month-on-month change in the price of exported commodities. The report is far from market moving though so expect minimal event risk.

Looks like the NZD made a nice intraday rally before losing steam late yesterday. The pair broke past 0.6800, before closing at 0.6771.

The commodity prices report showed that commodities rose by 4.3% in August. As expected, this was hardly a market moving event.

Once again, nothing up on the New Zealand economic calender. Watch out for reports coming from the US, more specifically the Non-farm Payrolls report which normally causes a lot of noise in the markets.

Trading on the heels of the surge in equities, the Kiwi pocketed in substantial gains last week. Risk appetite has been the Kiwi’s best friend for the past few days and this relationship could be tested as the RBNZ gears up for rate statement this week.

The first two days of this week are devoid of economic reports from New Zealand which means that the Kiwi could continue to tag along with equity prices much like a wide-eyed tail-wagging dog follows its master. Or we could be in for tighter price action as traders stay cautious ahead of the RBNZ’s monetary policy statement on Wednesday 9:00 pm GMT. The central bank is expected to keep rates at their current levels and comment that they are not ready to hike them up in the near future. This could produce the same result as the RBA’s recent rate statement when the AUD dipped after their central bank showed little intention of raising rates.

New Zealand’s economic schedule resumes its reverie for the last two days of the week during which the Kiwi’s price action could still be affected by the aftermath of the RBNZ’s statement.

The NZD broke out of the 0.6900 handle against the USD yesterday and set a new yearly high. If this level holds, then we might see the NZD move further as investors gain more confidence in the markets.

No economic reports were due in New Zealand and the US yesterday. Despite the lack of economic flow, the NZD still managed to head higher against the USD and the JPY even though volume traded was reasonably lighter.

Today will be idle as well in New Zealand in terms of economic updates. The Kiwi�s movement today may just be influenced by technicals, which currently have an upward bias.

Another stellar performance from the Kiwi yesterday as it gained for the fourth day in a row. The trend is up and it seems like there�s no stopping the currency�s momentum if risk appetite continues to improve. In fact, the Kiwi has already risen almost 18% since the start of the year.

For today, the focus would be on the Reserve Bank of New Zealand as they are set to announce their rate decision at 9 pm GMT tonight. Recovery to be at hand and the consensus among economists is the bank would keep benchmark interest rates unchanged at 2.50%. In the last meeting, RBNZ Governor Alan Bollard indicated that the rates would remain at record low levels for an extended period of time. We�ll have to see later if Mr. Bollard would hold on to his promises!

Up and down movement for the NZDUSD, which touched the .7000 barrier before falling back to its opening price. The pair closed at .6960, a few pips from its opening price. Could we see the NZD give back some of its gains?

The RBNZ released its interest rate decision yesterday, and it appears that RBNZ Governor Alan Bollard is keeping his promise to hold rates well into 2010. The rate was held at 2.5%. Bollard said that there was more evidence of recovery in the New Zealand economy, which has been helped by growth in the economies of major trading partners. In addition, there have been improvements in retail sales and in the housing market.

At the same time however, Bollard said household spending will probably grow modestly, and that the strong appreciation of the NZD in recent months could pose a threat to a sustainable recovery. Take note, if the local currency is appreciating too fast (or too much), it could dampen demand as it makes investments and exports more expensive. That being said, we may be in for a surprise in the future if the NZD doesn’t drop and if conditions remain to be tight - a rate cut or currency intervention anybody?

No high impact reports expected for the rest of the week. Watch out for any shifts in risk sentiment and potential profit taking that could take place.

Go Kiwi! The NZDUSD was finally able to surge past the 0.7000 mark and reach a new yearly high of 0.7045 yesterday. No economic reports were released in the last 24 hours but optimistic comments from RBNZ officials were able to pull the Kiwi higher.

New Zealand’s economic calendar is empty today. Could the NZDUSD stay above the 0.7000 level without any reports on schedule? Watch out for any pullbacks or changes in risk sentiment that could cause the Kiwi to return some of its gains. Good luck trading and see you next week!

The NZD closed mixed last Friday as it ended positive vis-�-vis the USD but fell versus the JPY. Against the USD, it broke above the 0.7000 handle and was already trading on uncharted territory. Will it continue to set new highs or will 0.7000�s gravity pull it back?

No economic reports were scheduled last Friday in New Zealand. The NZD closed mixed as a result.

Earlier today, New Zealand�s retail sales figures were published. Retail sales for the month of July were disappointing as both headline and core accounts fell unexpectedly. The headline figure fell further by -0.5% after previously contracting by 0.1%. It was seen to gain by 0.6%. The core account showed a similar story as it also dropped by 0.5% against a 0.5% projected increase. The account already slipped by 0.6% in June. The drop in the headline number was said to have been contributed by the shortfall in vehicle fuel sales. Moreover, the slide in the accounts adds to signs that New Zealand’s recovery may be muted.

The NZD fell following the release.

New Zealand�s economic calendar is very light this week. The country�s manufacturing sales for the second quarter is due on September 15. Manufacturing sales have been steadily declining for the past three quarters with the last one posting a 0.9% drop.

The NZDUSD pair staged a major drop yesterday as economic data that came out of New Zealand showed dismal results. The NZD fell below 0.7000 against the USD early in Asia and managed to retrace around half of its losses once the US session went underway.

The catalyst for the sharp dive was New Zealand�s retail sales for July. The headline figure showed that sales declined 0.5% instead of the 0.6% increase that most were anticipating. The core account, which excludes the sales of highly volatile items such as cars and oil, also fell 0.5%. The worse-than-expected results from the retail sales report seems to indicate that recovery would be much slower than what experts expected.

Tonight, expect to see New Zealand�s manufacturing sales q/q at 10:45 pm GMT. Economists predict that manufacturing sales would probably shrink by 4.8% after falling 1.3% already the quarter prior.

Looks like Eraser was the movie of the day for the NZD, as it erased all its losses versus the USD during yesterday’s trading session. The NZDUSD rose on increased optimism across the board, with the ending credits stopping at 0.7062.

No high impact reports are scheduled for the rest of the week, so we may see more ranging for the NZDUSD pair. Once again, let me warn you about shifts of risk sentiment, which is what I think will drive the pair for the rest of the week.

The NZDUSD zoomed all the way to the 0.7150 area yesterday as risk appetite surged and caused a USD sell-off. Despite the lack of high-impact reports from New Zealand, the rise in US equities and the strong US economic data propelled the NZDUSD higher.

The NZDUSD could benefit from another round of risk tolerance today even if New Zealand’s economic schedule is report-free. If the Kiwi continues to rally along with its comdoll buddies, it could result to more upside pressure for commodities such as gold, silver, and oil. Do you think the NZDUSD is ready to make a new yearly high yet again?

The greenback rallied against the Kiwi in yesterday�s trading as investors sold the news of the better-than-expected economic updates in the US. The NZD shaved some of its weekly gains as it tried to test its yearly high.

No tier 1 economic reports were issued in New Zealand yesterday. Most of the comdolls ended negative as they encounter technical resistances at their present levels.

Today, the Kiwi may just trade within a tight range given the lack of economic flows in New Zealand and the US.