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New Zealand Dollar (NZD) Exchange Rate Boosted by Retail Sales Report

Published: 16 Feb at 12 PM Tags: Pound Sterling, Euro Exchange Rate, Dollar Exchange Rate, Australian Dollar Exchange Rate, New Zealand Dollar Exchange Rate, Currency Exchange, Forex, Euro Crisis, Exchange Rates,

The New Zealand Dollar (NZD) had a buoyant trading session overnight, with the ‘Kiwi’ advancing on the majority of its currency counterparts. The NZD/GBP currency pairing climbed by over 1.0% to trade in the region of 0.4885, the NZD/USD exchange rate rose by 0.8% to trade in the region of 0.7516 and the NZD/EUR pair advanced by 0.5%. Gains against the Euro were a little limited as investors speculated on the potential outcome of the Eurogroup’s gathering in Brussels.

However, the New Zealand Dollar’s performance against the Australian Dollar was particularly impressive, with the NZD/AUD exchange rate extending a six-day run of gains and the ‘Aussie’ falling to a record low of 1.0347. The pairing is drawing increasingly close to parity as the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) maintains a neutral interest rate bias and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) toys with the idea of further interest rate cuts. FastFT said of the movement; ‘The central bank governors of both countries have been trying to jawbone their currencies lower, but the Australian’s with much more success – especially after the Reserve Bank of Australia unexpectedly cut its benchmark interest rate earlier this month.’

The New Zealand Dollar was supported by better-than-expected domestic data. New Zealand’s Performance of Services Index jumped from a positively revised 56.7 to 57.8 in January, moving further away from the 50 mark separating growth from contraction. The report saw economist Craig Ebert remark; ‘The relative health in the latest PSI gels will with a burgeoning labour market, high net inward migration and a reheating housing market. It’s a big relief to see the PSI get even stronger in January, compared to the abrupt slowing of its manufacturing cousin the PMI.’ Other domestic data showed an increase in retail sales in the fourth quarter. In the final three months of 2014, retail sales were up 1.7% in the fourth quarter on a quarter-on-quarter basis. This followed a positively revised figure of 1.6% in the third quarter.

In the week ahead, additional economic reports for New Zealand are in short supply, with just the nation’s Producer Price Inputs/Outputs and Consumer Confidence figures to focus on. Influential Chinese data is also lacking, so ‘Kiwi’ movement is likely to be the result of global economic developments and commodity price fluctuations. That being said, RBNZ Governor Graeme Wheeler is also due to speak in Auckland tomorrow at 19:00 GMT. If the central bank chief intimates that interest rates are likely to remain on hold for some time, it would boost the ‘Kiwi’ further.