The AUDUSD opened lower at 0.7095, the NZDUSD opened lower at 0.6854 this morning.
The NZD weakened after REINZ house sales volumes plunged by 9.5% (year over year) and NZ Food Price Index (FRI) rose a less than anticipate 0.4% in February.
Australian consumer sentiment data, released yesterday, slumped to its lowest in over a year in March, coming a day after business confidence figures disappointed – adding to signs of economic weakness and boosting calls for a Reserve Bank of Australia rate cut.
Foreign Portfolio Investment statistics feed into CPI data and is further evidence that inflation remains benign. The US Producer Price Index barely rose in February, while headline Durable Goods Orders came in stronger than forecasts, although the ‘core’ number disappointed. This data adds to the view the US Federal Reserve will maintain its ‘patient’ stance on any future interest rate hikes.
The GBP jumped higher after the UK Parliament voted against a ‘no-deal’ exit from the EU – however, the vote was extremely close, with the Noes defeating the Ayes 312 versus 308.
The Brexit drama continues on Thursday (UK time) where UK ministers will vote on whether to support a delay of Brexit in the hope of securing better terms. Even if the UK does agree to kick the can down the road, there is no guarantee the EU will agree to the extension.
The Melbourne Institute Inflation Expectations survey will hit the wires at 11am AEDT, followed by Chinese production, investment, retail sales, and unemployment data at 1:00pm.
Global equity markets were mostly higher on the day - Dow +0.4%, S&P 500 +0.7%, FTSE +0.1%, DAX +0.4%, CAC +0.7%, Nikkei +1.1%, Shanghai -1.1%.
Gold prices jumped 0.9% to USD$1,311 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices surged 2.7% to US$58.45 per barrel as US crude inventories unexpectedly fell, Venezuela’s crude exports stalled, and Saudi Arabia indicated it would cut exports.
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