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NZD Higher as US Data Disappoints

Published November 22, 2018

The Kiwi Dollar opens higher today as the US Dollar ran into selling pressure after worse than expected economic data overnight. Market sentiment was generally more positive with global equities and oil prices both bouncing back after recent weakness, providing buying support to commodity based currencies. Markets are expected to be relatively quiet over the next 24 hours with the US Thanksgiving holiday tonight.

US Data Surprisingly Weak

American durable goods orders for October were weaker than expected, dropping by 4.4% vs market expectations of 2.5%. The decline suggests the economy is not performing as well as recent data had been suggesting, with import tariffs perhaps starting to have an impact. There are now reports that the US Fed could end its cycle of interest rate hikes much earlier than expected.

Trade Tensions Continue

The US standoff with China over trade continues to intensify ahead of next week’s meeting between President Trump and President Xi Jinping at the G-20. US trade representative Lighthizer has released documents accusing Beijing of sustained operation of intellectual property theft. The report investigating China’s trade practices suggested they had not altered their approach and “indeed appears to have taken further unreasonable actions in recent months”. The report has put pressure on China to come up with a satisfactory response ahead of next week’s meeting.