After its very poor week, finishing down against every one of the major currencies we follow here, the New Zealand dollar did no better on Monday, finishing equal bottom of the table with its Aussie cousin. During the European morning, NZD/USD moved down on to 71 cents for the first time since March 29th and in New York trading the pair extended its decline to a low around 0.7150; its weakest since January 10th. Overnight in Asia, the Kiwi has fallen even further to 0.7115 but unlike the other majors, it has failed to rally and is once again bottom of the table.
The New Zealand Herald newspaper today makes a really excellent point about the Prime Minister’s trip to Europe last week which is worth quoting in full. “As citizens of a small and isolated nation, New Zealanders often seek validation from abroad. By that measure, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern returned triumphant this week from a trip to Europe. Ardern met with the leaders of Germany and France and got support for a free trade agreement. She was applauded in Paris when she explained that in seeking a greener future, New Zealand had stopped issuing new permits for offshore oil and gas exploration. And she was named in Time magazine as one of the world's 100 most influential people. For many New Zealanders, an image defined the trip: Ardern wearing an indigenous Maori cloak and smiling as she and her partner Clarke Gayford arrived at Britain's Buckingham Palace.
But back home, Ardern faces political pressures.”
Stats NZ released their always fascinating visitor arrivals data today. These showed 3.82 million visitors arrived in New Zealand in the year to March 2018; an increase of 276,200 (8 percent) from the previous year. The statisticians said, “Two-thirds of this rise was due to more visitors from Australia, China, the United Kingdom, and the United States… Over half of all overseas visitors were holidaymakers, and over one-quarter were visiting friends and family.” March 2018 broke the record for the number of overseas visitors for a March month – overseas visitor arrivals numbered 388,300, up 44,500 from March 2017. The top source of visitor arrivals in March 2018 was Australia, at 37% of all visitor arrivals followed by China and the US with 11% and the UK with 7%. The Kiwi Dollar opens in London this morning at USD0.7120, with GBP/NZD around 1.9590.