After its decent start to the week on Monday. the New Zealand Dollar slumped to the bottom of our one-day performance table on Tuesday, falling against all the major currencies we follow closely here. AUD/NZD rose around 35 pips to 1.0690 but losses elsewhere for the Kiwi extended to as much as 0.4-0.5% against the GBP and USD. Indeed, NZD/USD again fell back on to a US 71 cents ‘big figure’ and went on to hit the lowest level since January 10th. Overnight in Asia, the NZD has steadied a little but is still struggling to regain 72 US cents.
Stats New Zealand released their annual migration figures earlier today. New Zealand saw a net gain of 68,900 migrants in the year ended February 2018, with 131,000 migrant arrivals and 62,000 migrant departures. This is the first time since May 2016 that annual net migration has been below 69,000. Annual net migration reached a record high of 72,400 in the July 2017 year, but has continued to slow since then. The lower annual net migration was mainly caused by an increase in non-New Zealand citizen migrant departures. There were 29,100 departures of non-New Zealanders in the February 2018 year, up 1.5 percent from the January 2018 year and up 22 percent from the February 2017 year. All migrant departures to Asia increased by 31 percent in the February 2018 year to 11,700. Nearly two-thirds of migrant departures to Asia were to China, India, Japan, and the Republic of Korea. In the year to February 2018, more New Zealand citizens left the country than returned, with a net loss of 800 people.
Acting RBNZ Governor Grant Spencer holds his last Board meeting this Thursday before Adrian Orr takes the reins next week. He has had a distinguished career at the Central Bank: he was Deputy Governor and Head of Financial Stability from April 2007 until September 2017 whilst previous positions included Assistant Governor and Head of Economics. Not a single analyst expects any change in official interest rates at his last meeting, with most attention focused instead on the likely new Policy Targets Agreement between the Government and the Central Bank. The Kiwi Dollar opens in London this morning just below USD 72 cents with GBP/NZD in the low-1.95’s.