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May speech awaited

BY BRETT OTTAWA

The Australian dollar edged marginally lower through thin holiday affected trade on Monday. With US markets closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jnr Day liquidity remained thin and volumes light forcing the AUD into a relatively tight 30 point range for much of the day. Having rallied early, attempts to break through 0.75 were quashed as profit taking took hold and the currency slipped back toward intraday lows at 0.7459. Investors appeared content in squaring positions ahead of a week filled with frontline risk events. As politics dominates direction attentions turn to UK Prime Minister Theresa May and insights into the governments Brexit plan. Having moved back through 0.60 pence the AUD appears poised to break 12 month highs as heightened fears for a hard Brexit prompt weaker GBP rallies and heavier downward corrections.   

The New Zealand dollar opens this morning little changed when valued against its US Counterpart at a rate of 0.7101. With US markets closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jnr Day liquidity remained thin. The New Zealand dollar however still trading near a two-month high against the British pound as fears of a Hard Brexit continue to escalate. The pair is currently trading at 1.6947 up nearly 0.5 per cent from last weeks close. Today we see the release of Real Estate Institute house sales data and the Global Dairy Trade auction tonight. 

The Great British Pound began the week falling against the USD touching its lowest level since the "flash-crash" of mid-October. The GBP/USD pair, traded at over 30-year lows, reached an overnight low of 1.1987 before recovering back above 1.20 level. The GBP/USD is currently trading at 1.2040. We now expect support to hold on moves approaching 1.1970 while any upward push will likely meet resistance around 1.2085. Attentions now turn to Theresa May upcoming speech in which she is expected to discuss a Hard Brexit. On the data front the UK will release CPI for the month of December, which is expected to jump to 1.4%, up from the previous months reading of 1.2%.  

The US Dollar sell off slowed through trade on Monday as most investors observed Martin Luther Kind Jnr Day and enjoyed the subsequent long weekend. Edging marginally lower against the Japanese Yen to touch 113.71 and clawing back Euro losses the Greenback steadied following its worst weekly performance since the President Elects November victory. The Dollar index moved four tenths of a percent higher, however remains vulnerable to further downside. Implied volatility and options prices surged, touching fresh monthly highs and suggesting a heightened degree of nervousness within and across the market. While the soon to be incumbent Trump continues to skirt around front line policy announcements the optimism that surrounded his accession will waver, adding to risk adversity and heightened uncertainty. Politics and not economic will continue to drive direction through trade on Tuesday with attentions turning to UK Prime Minister Theresa May ahead of Friday’s inauguration.