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Eyes on RBNZ Today

Published March 27, 2019

The New Zealand dollar opens relatively stable this morning as risk-on sentiment runs out of puff ahead of the RBNZ rate announcement this afternoon. The RBNZ are expected to hold interest rates at 1.75% with markets watching closely for any shift in sentiment from Governor Adrian Orr for further direction on the NZD.

UK Parliament Takes Control of Brexit Process

UK Parliament voted in favour of taking control of the Brexit process yesterday, which likely means that Britain will not be leaving the EU anytime soon. Lawmakers will hold a series of policy votes to determine the path forward which is expected to be held later on Wednesday and include a range of possible outcomes from leaving with no deal, a softer Brexit, to holding another referendum. The Telegraph reported former UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson edging towards backing UK PM May’s deal, “If we vote it down again, there is an appreciable and growing sense that we will not leave at all” The pound firmed on both reports.

Fall in US Consumer Confidence and Housing Sales Indicate Slowdown in Economy

Consumer confidence in the US fell back sharply in the survey released overnight, dipping to 124.1 in March missing expectations of 132.0. The fall was largely due to more pessimistic views about current business conditions and the job market.

US housing starts dropped by 8.7% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.162 million and was the largest decline in 8-months. New builds of single-family homes hit a 2-year low, declining 17%.
The USD managed to shrug off the weak data reports as US Treasury yields moved higher today, tempering concerns of a recession.

Key event today will be the RBNZ rate announcement at 2pm.