Brexit vote restricting currency market moves - APAC update

. 3 min read

The AUD USD opens at 0.7151 (mid-rate), and the NZD USD opens at 0.6732 (mid-rate) this morning.

The Federal Reserve's impending monetary policy announcement, along with this morning’s Brexit vote appears to be keeping investors on the side lines and restricting currency market moves.

Direction for the AUD will be driven by this morning’s Q4 inflation report, with economists expecting CPI to increase by 0.4% during the December quarter.

Yesterday morning, Statistics New Zealand reported fuel imports pushed NZ's annual trade deficit to its highest level in 11 years in 2018. The report revealed a deficit of $5.68B, a sharp increase from the $2.85B deficit in the year to December 2017. The value of imported petroleum and products for the year to December was $7.7B, up by $2.4B, or 44%, from last year. The report also showed a merchandise trade surplus of NZ$264m in December well ahead of the expected surplus of NZ$150m, and following on from the NZ$861m in November.

Overnight, the US Conference Board reported its consumer confidence index for the month of January slumped to 120.2 in January after plummeting to a downwardly revised 126.6 in December. The fall in the index was much greater than expected and was largely due to the government shutdown. Economists had forecast the index to fall to 124.3 from the 128.1 originally reported for the month of December.

This morning, UK prime minister Theresa May in an effort to gain the House of Commons support vowed to go back to Brussels and re-open the agreement to scrap the Irish backstop. Overnight,UK Commons Speaker John Bercow selected seven amendments for consideration as MPs aim to shape the next phase of the Brexit talks with the EU.

The two key amendments are a move by Labour former minister Yvette Cooper to give Parliament control over the Brexit process if Theresa May fails to secure a deal by February 26, and the Brady amendment which demands that the controversial Irish backstop be replaced with “alternative arrangements” and vows that Parliament will support the Withdrawal Agreement if this change is made.

Global equity markets are mixed, Dow +0.44%, S&P 500 -0.05%, FTSE +1.29%, DAX +0.08%, CAC +0.81%, Nikkei +0.08%, Shanghai -0.10%.

Gold prices have inched higher, up 0.5% trading at 1,309 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have retraced yesterday’s fall , currently up 3.5%% trading at $53.67 a barrel.

Mid-market rates

AUD USD 0.7151 -0.2% NZD USD 0.6832 0%
AUD EUR 0.6257 -0.1% NZD EUR 0.5977 0%
AUD GBP 0.5442 0% NZD GBP 0.5199 0.2%
AUD JPY 78.21 -0.1% NZD JPY 74.71 0%
AUD NZD 1.0466 -0.2% NZD AUD 0.9552 0%
GBP AUD 1.8376 0% NZD CAD 0.9065 0.1%
      GBP NZD 1.9234 -0.2%

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