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NZD Firmer as Risk Appetite Returns to Markets

Published April 4, 2019

The Kiwi Dollar opens higher today as risk appetite returned to global markets on the back of renewed optimism surrounding the latest round of trade talks between the U.S and China. Also supporting the NZD was a stronger Australian Dollar which was boosted by better than expected local data yesterday.

U.S – China Trade Talks Show Positive Signs

Global markets edged higher overnight as US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were due to resume negotiations with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Washington. Both sides have reported progress from talks in Beijing last week with most of the issues standing in the way of a resolution having been addressed. The main outstanding issue is how to deal with existing US tariffs on Chinese goods, which Beijing wants to see removed, while the US is focused on the terms of an enforcement agreement to ensure China abides by any deal.

USD Slips on Weaker Data

The US Dollar ran into selling pressure last night, despite renewed optimism over trade talks, as weaker than expected economic data disappointed the market. Non-manufacturing ISM, and ADP employment, both missed market expectations and places even more importance on this weekends non-farm payrolls due out Saturday morning NZ time.

AUD Firmer On Strong Retail Sales Data

The Australian Dollar was the strongest performer of major currencies, benefitting from some upbeat economic data released yesterday. Both the Trade Surplus and Retail Sales for February were well ahead of market expectations, which perhaps lessens the likelihood of an RBA rate cut in the near term. The NZD/AUD cross rate continued to drift lower as the Aussie rally outpaced the Kiwi.