NZ: 0800 560 006 – AU: 1800 993 100 
info@directfx.co.nz
NZDUSD

Equity Markets Trade Calmly For Now

Market Overview:

Equity markets in the US turned back into positive territory Friday, the Dow up 1.4% although there is a way to go to match the late January high of 26,616. The Nasdaq is also trading above 1% for the day. The big mover was Crude, down 3.3% to trade back below 60.00 plunging more than $5.00 amid a surging US Oil production, suggesting the oversupply could be a theme over 2018. The US government has ended the short shutdown with the agreement of raising the federal budget cap by nearly $300 billion, signing a two-year spending deal. Meanwhile medical marijuana continues to grow in support across the US. Virginia last week allowed state residents to take cannabis oil for treatment of severe epilepsy and cannabis stocks are on the high with more widespread acceptance. The Canadian leader Trudeau spoke on Friday on NAFTA as he tries to win support from US lawmakers to keep trump from boycotting the North American free trade agreement as he has threatened to do several times, this comes where US trade representative Robert Lighhizer grows more frustrated with the government. The last session of the week was reasonably calm after a huge amount of volatility. The USD and the Japanese Yen (JPY) gained ground while the Pound (GBP), EUR, Aussie Dollar (AUD) and New Zealand Dollar (NZD) all depreciated following the stock market crash on Monday and again on Thursday. Read more

NZD

FX Update, The USD Finds Ground

Market Overview:

US equity markets continued to fall on Friday, in-spite of the crucial Non-farm payrolls figure coming in above expectations. Wall Street had its worst week since June 2016 with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P both dropping over 4%. Both the Dow and S&P500 were sharply lower, over 2.5% and 2.12% as the worsening bond rout heightened concerns that the Federal Reserve will accelerate its rate-hike schedule. Comments from Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan suggesting that Fed officials may need to hike interest rates more than three times this year to moderate the economic advance, further exacerbated the selling tone. Selling was broad based across all 11 sectors of the S&P500, with energy shares sinking 4.1% as earnings disappointed and the crude price slumped. The tech selloff worsened, pushing the Nasdaq 100 Index lower by 2.1 %. Not even a record rally at Amazon could halt the decline, as shares in the world’s biggest company, Apple Inc hit their lowest level since October. Read more

USD

Economic Update, A Big Week Ahead For The USD

Market Overview:

There was little new of note from Trump’s speech at Davos, with the main comments being that “America first” did not mean “America alone”. There was no comment around the NAFTA talks, although he did allay some fears around the potential for trade or currency wars. It will be an interesting week for the US (USD) this week with President Trump’s first State of the Union speech tomorrow, the Fed meeting on Thursday and then January Non-farm payrolls on Friday, all having potential to move the market. The Federal Open Market Committee meeting this week is likely to reinforce broad market expectations of three hikes this year thanks to a more upbeat outlook for the US and global economies, and somewhat diminished concern about low inflation. This Fed meeting will be the last with Janet Yellen as Chair, having been succeeded by Jerome Powell. The market will be focused on the tone of any press -release afterwards to see whether the slow and steady pace of rate hikes will continue as per under Yellen’s stewardship, or something different. Currently the market is anticipating that interest rates will increase 3 times over the 2018 calendar with some outliers picking 4 Fed rate increases. This week will also bring Australian CPI data on Wednesday and a raft of data for China over the week. Read more

FX

Economic Update

Market Overview:

The main news of the week is the continued shutdown of the US government which has seen the USD remain under pressure. Funding for the federal agencies ran out on Saturday with Trump and Republican lawmakers locked in a standoff with Democrats. As the shutdown entered its second day, there appeared to be no clear path for a quick end to the crisis, however at the last minute a stop-gap deal was cobbled together that would fund the government through Feb. 8th. Advancing the spending bill clears the way to reopen the government after a three-day shutdown, although that could merely delay the fight over immigration, which has been the major point of contention for several weeks. In an update to its forecasts presented to the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised global economic growth to 3.9% in 2018 and 2019, up from the 3.7% per year it forecast last October. It lifted its forecasts for US growth from 2.3 % to 2.7% in 2018 and from 1.9 to 2.5 per cent in 2019. It commented that the short-term growth boost brought about by the US tax cuts will have a positive, albeit short-lived, output spill over for US trading partners. However, it also pointed out that it was likely to widen the US current account deficit, strengthen the USD, and affect international investment flows. Later this week there will be an ECB policy meeting and accompanying press statements (Thurs) and of Bank of Japan policy meeting and interest rate decision later today. These are expected to reaffirm the course of winding back monetary stimulus. Read more

bitcoin

Bitcoin Collapse

What to take from the recent Bitcoin collapse

The past couple of days has seen some serious volatility in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Many, including Bitcoin, lost over 40% of their value and although the carnage seems to have halted for now, what are the broader ramifications?

The main point to note is that when ANY market goes parabolic, and starts to make exponential gains, the correction is usually swift and the declines significant. No market that’s gone exponential stabilises at the highs. No one knows where that peak will be made until after it’s been put in place, but it’s usually very short lived. Read more

market updates

Economies of Note

Market Overview:

It has been a quiet start to the week as US markets were closed Monday to mark Martin Luther King Day. CPI data for the US released Friday, showed that although headline inflation data was below market expectations, increasing by 0.1%, after a 0.4% increase in November and under economists’ estimates of 0.2% for the month, the core inflation rate was stronger than forecast increasing 0.3% on the month. US retail sales data for the December period increased, also released on Friday, printed in line with expectations coming in up 0.4% following an upward revision of 0.9% for the November figures. Friday’s inflation data should underscore the view that the Fed will continue to normalise interest rates over the course of 2018. The EUR surged higher as news emerged that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is likely going to be able to form a ‘grand collation’, with the SDP solidifying her position. The SDP has to has to approve the deal at a special party conference but the removal of the risk of another election saw buyers pile into the EUR. On the local scene there has been little in the way of data this week, but there is another Global Dairy auction on Wednesday morning with farmers looking for another rise to build on the previous hike in prices at the last auction. Read more

FX News

Economies of Note

Market Overview:

The 2018 year kicked off with the US Non-farm payroll data last Friday. The figure of 148,000 jobs created for the December month was below expectations of 190,000 however the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1%, remaining at its lowest level since December 2000 when it stood at 4%. The release saw the USD drop sharply against both the JPY and EUR, while precious metals prices jumped. However, there was relatively little movement in US stock indices with global stock indices continuing to rally as we get further into 2018. Investors continue to show little concern for high valuations (particularly across US equities) or the impact of tighter monetary policy preferring to focus on continued earnings growth and Trump’s business-friendly administration. So currently, leading on from last year, it appears there are few grey clouds to upset the current market exuberance, but it should be remembered that this bull run in equities is well extended, with every additional fresh record close-out bringing the market closer to the inevitable downside correction. Read more

Foreign Exchange

Economic Update

New Zealand (NZD)

The release of Q4 GDP yesterday surprised to the upside showing an increase of 0.6% for the September quarter with a revised increase of 1% for the previous June quarter. The better than expected figure indicates that the New Zealand economy is larger and more productive than earlier figures suggested. On release of the data the New Zealand dollar (NZD) bounced off a dip below the 0.7000 against the USD rallying to around 0.7025 before dropping back to the 0.7000/10 level. Although the GDP data was well received it is against the background of a higher trade deficit and weaker prices at this week’s Global Dairy auction which continue to weigh on the NZD.

Australia (AUD)

The Aussie economy continues to look to improve with US based Fitch Ratings commenting in its latest review that it expects the fiscal balance to come into surplus by 2021 after the public debt ratio peaks in 2018. However, it did flag Australia’s economic vulnerability to negative global economic developments and from any faster than expected rise in US interest rates. Also of note were comments from Australian Treasurer Morrison that Australia may need to cut corporate taxes now that they have been reduced in the US. Otherwise ongoing Australian economic growth now may be negatively effected.

Read more

Economic Update

Market Overview:

Starting of this week’s Economic update is news that US equity markets continued to rally to new highs, with the tone remaining positive as investors grew increasingly optimistic that Congress would reach a deal to cut corporate taxes. All three major US indices, S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq all closed at record highs ahead of a vote on the proposed tax legislation later this week. European stocks were also higher, with the STOXX 600 index making the biggest gain in 5 months led by gains across car manufacturers, real estate and technology stocks. In the UK PM May addressed Parliament on plans for Brexit, giving the UK pound cause to rally. Markets will gradually start to thin as the holiday break approaches and from tomorrow we expect volumes to be significantly lower for both currency and equities. Read more

Economic Update

Economies of Note

Market Overview:

Economic update this week includes Friday’s Non-farm payroll data that was encouraging, confirming that the US economy continues to recover. The data showed that job growth continued to be solid with 228,000 jobs created over the month, unemployment levels held steady at 4.1%, but wage growth was below expectations. With conditions now set at around a 98% chance for a rate hike at the Fed meeting on Wednesday, we are now more confident that there will be another 3 hikes out over the 2018 year. Look for the accompanying revision of official forecasts and follow up press conference with Chair Yellen to provide any market moving indicators. Also announcing their final monetary policy statements for the 2017 year will be the ECB, Bank of England, Swiss National Bank and Bank of Norway. Read more