The AUDUSD opens little changed at 0.7118 this morning, the NZDUSD opens lower at 0.6756 this morning.
The AUDUSD held its ground against a broadly stronger USD, and outperformed against other major currencies overnight. Positive AUD sentiment was underpinned by optimism that the US & China are nearing a trade agreement, surging iron ore prices amid supply disruption concerns, and views that recent good domestic economic data and a moderately stimulatory budget will keep the RBA from cutting rates in the near term.
The NZD lost ground overnight against a broadly stronger USD as horrible German manufacturing data added to concerns about the global economic outlook. The NZDAUD fell to an 8-week low of 0.9490 overnight. Surging iron ore prices, strong Australian economic data this week, and US-China trade deal positivity helped the AUD outperform its trans-Tasman cousin. While the local interest rate market is becoming increasingly convinced the RBNZ will trim the OCR by 0.25% at its next meeting on the 8th of May, which is weighing on the NZD.
Industrial orders in Germany fell by 4.2% in February, the largest decrease in more than 2 years, highlighting the extent of the slowdown amid the risk of a no-deal Brexit and global trade disagreements. The GBP weakened as the UK Parliament passed a bill by a single vote to block a ‘no-deal Brexit.’ No end to the circus is in sight.
On the positive side, US-China trade talks continue to make progress with President Trump scheduled to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu at the White House today to advance the cause. The market is increasingly optimistic an agreement will remove headwinds to global growth. The influential and closely-watched US non-farm payroll employment data hit the wires tonight for further clues on the strength of the US economy.
Global equity markets were mostly higher on the day - Dow +0.6%, S&P 500 +0.1%, FTSE -0.2%, DAX +0.3%, CAC -0.1%, Nikkei +0.1%, Shanghai +0.9%. Gold prices rose 0.2% to USD$1,293 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices fell 0.4% to US$62.15 per barrel.
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