After slumping to the bottom of our one-day performance table on Tuesday, falling against all the major currencies we follow closely here, the New Zealand Dollar didn’t do a whole lot better on Wednesday. Ahead of the FOMC announcement it was down against the GBP, CAD and AUD, and little changed against both the USD and EUR. The NZD/USD pair had slipped to a low in the London morning of 0.7155 but recovered around a quarter of a cent immediately prior to the Fed. As the USD then softened against all the majors, so the Kiwi Dollar managed to regain 72 US cents and went on to a best level late in the New York afternoon around 0.7215.
Stats New Zealand released their always-fascinating 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. 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 New Zealand Dollar opens in Asia this morning at USD0.7215 and AUD/NZD1.0740.