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Kiwi tops majors as days worst performer as risk appetite falters

NZD - New Zealand Dollar

The New Zealand dollar fell through trade on Thursday, giving up gains and tipping toward the bottom end of recent ranges. The worst performer among major currencies through the past 24 hours, the NZD has succumbed to a distinct shift in the demand for risk falling 0.7% to touch 0.6375. With little technical data on hand and an absence of obvious headline news events markets zeroed in on commentary from US Vice President Mike Pence. Pence, criticised China for becoming increasingly hostile over the past 12 months suggesting they have become “more aggressive and destabilising” in the theft of US intellectual property while “slashing rights and liberties” of the citizens of Hong Kong. In fairness Pence did evoke conciliatory language as well and directly pointed out the US was not seeking confrontation with Beijing and while the overall tone of the speech will be unlikely seen as aggressive enough to derail recent progress on trade it certainly highlights the vast difference that still need to be address before hostilities are finally put to bed.

Markets optimism waned and the NZD suffered and with little of note on the docket today we expect the NZD will remain subject to volatility driven by broader risk sentiment as attention turn to next weeks FOMC meeting and Fed Funds rate announcement as key markers governing short term direction.

Key Movers

The USD and JPY both benefited from shifts in risk appetite on Tuesday with the USD jumping two tenths of a percent against key dollar counterparts, while the Euro slipped below 1.11. The combined unit gave up recent gains following softer than expected PMI data and largely muted commentary from the ECB. Outgoing President Mario Draghi opted to maintain the current policy setting issuing a sustained message of downside risk and guidance. Attentions now turn to incoming President and Ex IMF chief Christine Largarde and guidance on future QE policy as a key driver of future Euro direction.

The Great British pound closed the day as one of the worst performers as Johnson announced he would put to parliamentary vote a call for a General Election to be held on December 12. The announcement adds another layer to recent Brexit uncertainty and opens the door to an increased chance of a no-deal Brexit should Johnson manage to increase his parliamentary majority. Sterling fell through 1.29 and 1.28 to touch 1.2785 and remains vulnerable to Brexit headlines.

Expected Ranges

NZD/USD: 0.6350 - 0.6450 ▼

NZD/EUR: 0.5710 - 0.5780 ▼

GBP/NZD: 1.9880 - 2.0230 ▲

NZD/AUD: 0.9350 - 0.9410 ▼

NZD/CAD: 0.6280 - 0.6400 ▼