AU: 1800 993 100 – NZ: 0800 560 006

Economic Releases

Below are the weekly economic releases for this week (NZT)

Tuesday 10/12

  • 1105am, AUD, RBA Gov Lowe Speaks
  • 11pm, EUR, German ZEW Economic Sentiment
    • Forecast 1.1
    • Previous -2.1

Wednesday 11/12

  • 11th-15th, CNY, New Loans
    • Forecast 1200B
    • Previous 661B

Thursday 12/12

  • 230am, USD, CPI m/m
    • Forecast 0.20%
    • Previous 0.40%
  • 230am, USD, Core CPI m/m
    • Forecast 0.20%
    • Previous 0.20%
  • 8am, USD, FOMC Economic Projections
  • 8am, USD, FOMC Statement
  • 8am, USD, Federal Funds Rate
    • Forecast <1.75%
    • Previous <1.75%
  • 830am, USD, FOMC Press Conference
  • All Day, GBP, Parliamentary Elections

Friday 13/12

  • 145am, EUR, Main Refinancing Rate
    • Forecast 0.00%
    • Previous 0.00%
  • 145am, EUR, Monetary Policy Statement
  • 230am, EUR, ECB Press Conference
  • 630am, CAD, BOC Gov Poloz Speaks

Saturday 14/12

  • 230am, USD, Core Retail Sales m/m
    • Forecast 0.40%
    • Previous 0.20%
  • 230am, USD, Retail Sales m/m
    • Forecast 0.40%
    • Previous 0.30%

FX Update

Currency markets this week have taken on more turns than a wounded snake. US Trade policy has been high on the agenda again with most currencies up Thursday against the US Dollar.  

After President Trump said earlier in the week a deal with China would not be done until after the election in 2020 he commented that talks between the two sides are now going “very well”. Negotiations of the “phase one” deal are now expected to be completed before tariffs are set to increase on December 15. Earlier in the week the President said he would levy Argentina, France and Brazil with the aim of protecting US workers. The flow on effect of Trump’s tariff war on the world may end up hurting the competitiveness of US manufacturers further, after all this sector is currently in a recession after contracting in November for the fourth month straight driven by these tariff tensions and global growth.

As predicted the Reserve Bank of Australia left their cash rate unchanged at 0.75% with the board saying they are prepared to ease policy further should the economic situation worsen. The decision came across a little more hawkish than we have seen in the past based on improving house prices and the potential to lift household spending. Calls for the RBA to cut again as early as February will be monitored by incoming data.

The New Zealand Dollar rose across the board yesterday after the Reserve Bank of NZ will instigate plans to nearly double the amount banks are currently required to hold as capital from 8.5% to 16%. Large banks will need to hold 18% in total capital with smaller banks 14%. The amounts are a lot and equate to about 24 Billion NZ Dollars worth but Orr said “more capital also reduces the likelihood of a bank failure”. The time allocated for this was stretched out from 5 years to 7 years.

Market overview

NZD Surges Higher


Australian Dollar event risk will be elevated this week with a slew of important data to publish. Today’s RBA Cash rate and Monetary Policy statement will hold a lot of the attention with expectations that the RBA will leave rates unchanged at 0.75%. Two rate cuts to the cash rate in 2020 to bring it down to 0.25% is now the talking point to bring the economy more in line with growth forecasts and inflation and employment targets. This of course will be data dependant over the next few months. Yesterday’s Building Approvals release was a bad start to the week with data coming in at -0.8% for October lower than predicted. Seasonally adjusted for October (total Dwellings) fall 8.1% driven by a decrease in private dwellings of 11.3% excluding houses. Watch for strong moves in the Aussie this week but not necessarily in the same direction.

New Zealand

Despite a largely range bound week the New Zealand Dollar performed reasonably well outperforming its peers. The NZ economy of late has shown positive signs especially if we pull aside third quarter Retail Sales and Business Confidence. Depending on how negotiations roll out with China and US officials we could see further upside develop in the kiwi as we head into 2020. This week will be sparse for economic data publications which usually implies the kiwi will take its directional shifts from offshore headlines. Governor Orr speaks on Thursday about the Central Bank Capital review, we are not expecting any surprises.

United States

The US Dollar had a mixed week with risk sentiment wavering but data reasonably supportive.  China vowed to retaliate against President Trump’s support of HK protesters with markets waiting to see potential fallout in progress with negotiations. In news out Monday it has been reported that President Trump is expected to hold off raising tariffs on the 15th of December to keep alive recent negotiations but a new report suggests the deal “phase one” has now stalled based on HK legislation and more than likely won’t happen until early 2020. The main issues are how much tariffs to roll back and how China will guarantee to purchase US agricultural products. Although Trump has hinted at lower tariffs he won’t want to change the tariffs he has put into place as this could be seen as a surrender. Its unsure how the will impact currency markets this week with most of the pessimism already priced into crosses. This week’s Non-Farm Payroll and job’s earnings results for November will be the focus.


Eurozone annual inflation is expected to be 1.0% to November 2019, up from 0.7% in October according to the stats at the European Union beating estimates of 0.8%. The print sent the Euro higher across the board prior to the close of the week. Eurozone unemployment came in at 7.5% bang on estimate for October and down from September’s 7.6% and down from 8.0% in September. This figure is the lowest Eurozone unemployment rate since “Eurostat” figures were first introduced in January 2000. Compared to the same time in 2018 the unemployed in the Eurozone shrank by 761,000. Lagarde speaks in Brussels tonight the weekly highlight with no actual tier one data to release.

United Kingdom

YouGov’s general Election poll, the 50,000 strong surveyed result, has predicted a Conservative landslide victory. The same source also predicted the 2016 hung parliament. The lead of 11% over Labour should reflect a win for Boris Johnson on the 12th December. This potential result of a centre right victory remains to be supportive of the British Pound with polls to intensify more as we get closer to 12 Dec. Another leader debate between BJ and Corbyn is due on 6th December. If this goes well for Johnson markets may start to price in a Conservative win, thus sending the Pound further north. Manufacturing and Services results for November are due this week.


Chinese manufacturing results yesterday showed a fourth straight month of expansion for November indicating a sharp turnaround in demand. The Caixin Manufacturing Index rose to 51.8 from 51.7 staying above the accepted 50.0 Index level. The news boosted market sentiment into Monday evening trading sessions with the Japanese Yen selling off as investors chose risk products. Capital Spending by businesses for the September quarter came in at 7.1% from the 5.1% predicted Monday with the willingness by Japanese businesses to spend money towards future growth a sign of confidence. Japanese Cash Earnings y/y prints later in the week which is expected to show an increase of 0.2% in wage inflation.


The Bank of Canada will announce their official Cash Rate this week on Thursday with expectations widely predicted the central bank will leave it unchanged at 1.75%. This Following the October 31st release when they also left rates unchanged saying the inflation rate of 1.9% should remain steady. Nothing really has changed much since. Third quarter GDP to September printed at 0.1% Friday in line with market predictions giving the CAD a little support into the close. Canadian Unemployment is expected to also remain at 5.5% when it’s announced on Friday.

Major Announcements last week:

  • NZ ANZ Business Confidence printed better than expected
  • Chinese Manufacturing releases up on expectations boosting market sentiment
  • Australian Building Approvals m/m releases below expectations
  • Aussie Current Account comes in higher at 7.98B from the 6.1B expected

FX Overview – 29th Nov

Currencies this week have remained in their range bound mood. We had a mix of data published Wednesday but overall markets stayed in recent formations with Thanksgiving Holiday thinning market conditions. We may see some excitement in the last couple of trading sessions prior to the close but I wouldn’t count on it. 

The greenback has strengthened this week after positive data pushed the big dollar higher. The only exception was the GBP rally after a strong Conservative party poll result. Second quarter US GDP came in at 2.1% y/y rising from the previous 1.9% with October durable goods orders also rising 0.6% m/m after estimates of -0.9%. Chicago PMI was in line with November estimates at 46.3 but note we are in a three month decline with the indicator less than the healthy 50.0 barometer. 

Risk deteriorated Thursday after President Trump signed a law in support of Hong Kong protesters. Trump said, “I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China and the people of Hong Kong”. This could spell disaster in the current trade negotiations with China already saying Trump’s signings are a gross interference in China’s affairs. China said earlier that if President Trump meddled in Chinese affairs they would retaliate.

The RBNZ Financial Stability Report came and went with no real excitement. Most of the talk was based around bank lending and LVR ratios etc. They will continue to review and refine capital requirements, considering interest rate impacts. ANZ Business Confidence was up at -26.4 in November based on the -42.4 reading in October giving the NZD a general push higher. The reading is in line with ANZ growth forecasts that inflation will not extend lower than about 2.0%   

Next week is a huge week of Aussie economic data with jobs numbers, RBA Cash Rate, q/q GDP, Retail Sales and Trade Balance.


NZD poised for breakouts – 26th Nov


The Australian Dollar had a mixed bag of success based on closing weaker than the Japanese Yen but making up ground against the falling British Pound. Iron Ore prices have not been AUD supportive over the past few months with levels falling from the March price of 123.16 to today’s 83.79. Most of the yearly deterioration in the Australian Dollar (Jan 2019 level was 0.7400 against the USD, now 0.6800) can be attributed to global tensions in the US/China trade tariff breakdown in negotiations over many months, leading to a decrease of Chinese manufacturing production output. Chinese Steel mills produce over half of the world’s steel. To add to the discomfort the AUD has fallen on recent employment which has been sluggish. RBA’s Lowe said he was prepared to ease policy further as needed, the board agreed and said a “case could be made” for a cut at the December 3 meeting. This week’s economic docket sees quarterly construction completed and Private Capital Expenditure q/q.

New Zealand

The New Zealand Dollar closed the week within 10 points of the open against the greenback, choosing to stay in recent ranges across the board on a lack of any market moving economic data. Midweek sentiment was boosted by a favourable Global Dairy Auction, which showed prices move higher including key Whole Milk and Skim Milk products.  The auction was the 5th in a row of positive prices. Fonterra has revised their 2019/2020 milk solid pay-out to between $6.55-$7.55 per kg, up 30 cents from the previous forecast of $6.25- $7.25. The world demand for whole milk powder is expected to be good for the remained of the season through to May 2020 with global WMP supplies lower than normal. This week’s focus will be on quarterly Retail Sales and ANZ Business Confidence.

United States

After nearly two years of negotiations in the China/US trade war with many false draws by both sides we seem to be no closer to actually seeing a deal agreed by both parties. Apparently progress towards “phase one” is being made but we have heard this all before. We have been offered headlines of sorts that a deal is close to being done, but in reality the situation resembles a scenario which could go either. Both sides remain divided over key trade issues yet the rumour is they are close. Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China wanted a “phase one” deal based on “equality” being key, but President Trump said in response this wasn’t a guiding force he shared. This week’s attention will be towards CB Consumer Confidence and Manufacturing Figures. Thursday will be quiet as the country breaks for Thanksgiving holiday.


The Euro came under fire in the later stages of the week after the ECB minutes confirming the need to convince EU governments of the urgency to implement fiscal policy. The downturn in manufacturing in the European countries highlighted by Friday’s numbers in France and particularly Germany at 43.8- (50.0 represents expansion) is a worrying thing. ECB’s Lagarde made a call for more fiscal stimulus in her speech on Friday. She also spoke about creating more economic growth within the 19 member EU region as a countermeasure for weakening global growth. She continued to say the eurozone economy was only expected to grow around 1.1% this year, far lower than previous forecasts. The Euro closed the week in a vulnerable mood.  Eurozone flash CPI y/y publishes Friday, expected to print at 0.8% inflation.

United Kingdom

Both UK Manufacturing and Services PMI numbers released down on expectations Friday taking the British Pound immediately lower against its peers. What made the slide more pronounced was that the market long positions based on a BJ election win were stopped out exaggerating the drop lower. The Pound rebounded somewhat during early week sessions after the Conservatives polled well over the weekend with Corbyn taking the “left” approach with his manifesto. A conservative majority should continue to support the Pound leading into the 12 December election. With no economic data to publish this week Brexit/election headlines should be the main driver.


The Japanese Yen was the strongest currency of the major group over the past week extending nearly 1% against the Canadian Dollar. Market risk profile played a part with most risk related currencies lower, based on a lack of data and deterioration in the US/China trade negotiations. Sentiment has been switching between hot and cold at least a couple of times a week with setbacks becoming more frequent over the past couple of weeks. Chinese officials confirming they are looking forward to face to face chat. Japanese yearly inflation came in at 0.4%, this was following a 2% tax increase. When this is factored in the rate of inflation remains slow. Japanese unemployment and key Consumer Confidence will hold the most interest on the calendar this week. The Unemployment Rate is expected to print unchanged at 2.4%


The Canadian Dollar endured a poor week of trading hit hard by general strength in other currencies. It wasn’t all dire for the Loonie with Retail Sales printing ahead of the expected -0.3% at -0.1% for the third quarter Friday. Canadian CPI also rose to 1.9% y/y and 0.3% in October following three consecutive monthly increases. BoC governor Poloz spoke in Toronto late in the week and said he is “starting to see a glimmer of response to global easing”. Crude Oil is holding up around 58.00 per barrel and should support the CAD this week if it holds. Monthly GDP is the key data publishing late in the week.

Major Announcements last week:

  • Canadian Retail Sales prints well at -0.1% from -0.3% expected
  • US Manufacturing Index released at 52.2 from 51.5 expected
  • NZ Retail Sales boosts NZD
FX News

Economic Releases – 24th Nov

Below are the weekly economic releases for this week (NZT)

Tuesday 26/11

  • 1005pm, AUD, RBA Gov Lowe Speaks 

Wednesday 27/11

  • 4am, USD, CB Consumer Confidence 
    • Forecast 126.9
    • Previous 125.9
  • 11am, NZD, RBNZ Gov Orr Speaks 
  • 130pm, AUD, Construction Work Done q/q
    • Forecast -1.00%
    • Previous -3.80%

Thursday 28/11

  • 345am, USD, Chicago PMI
    • Forecast 47.2
    • Previous 43.2
  • 1pm, NZD, ANZ Business Confidence
    • Previous -42.4
  • 130pm, AUD, Private Capital Expenditure q/q
    • Forecast 0.00%
    • Previous -0.50%

Friday 29/11

  • All Day, USD, Bank Holiday 

Saturday 30/11

  • 230am, CAD, GDP m/m
    • Previous -0.10%
  • 2pm, CNY, Manufacturing PMI
    • Forecast 49.5
    • Previous 49.3

FX Update

This week’s movement in currencies has been choppy to say the least with no real clear direction.

Wednesday’s Global Dairy Auctions delivered good news to local farmers with good prices achieved across the board in dairy products but most importantly in Whole Milk and Skim Milk. The auction was the 5th in a row of positive prices. Fonterra has revised their 2019/2020 milk solid pay-out to between $6.55-$7.55 per kg, up 30 cents from the previous forecast of $6.25- $7.25. The world demand for whole milk powder is expected to be good for the remained of the season through to May 2020 with global WMP supplies lower than normal. 

After nearly two years of negotiations in the China/US tariff saga with many false draws along the way we seem to be no closer to actually seeing a deal agreed by both parties. Apparently progress towards “phase one” is being made but we have heard this all before. Although we have been fed news that a deal is close to being done in reality the situation resembles a scenario which could go either way as it balances over the edge of a cliff. Both sides remain divided over key trade issues yet the rumour is they are close. Who knows.

Minutes of the recent Fed policy meeting highlighted a few key things: –  President Trump’s calls for negative interest rates following in the footsteps of Japan and the ECB won’t happen. The Fed made it clear that negative interest rates were not a viable option and an unattractive tool in the United States. The fed said negative rates would lead to distortions to the financial systems and adverse effects. Trade tensions between China and the US had eased but remained inflated. Inflation is expected to run around the 2% target through 2022 but growth forecast remain tilted to the downside. Most Fed officials are worried that weakness in manufacturing, trade and business investment could tarnish economic expansion by starting cutbacks in hiring and consumer spending when they cut interest rates on November 1st.

Central Bank speak the focus- NZD/AUD holds 0.9380


The Australian calendar looks scant this week with just the RBA releasing monetary policy minutes from the November meeting. This should not bring any surprises from recent policy and have little impact on the Aussie. Australian unemployment rose from 5.2% to 5.3% last week broadly assisting to underperform the currency. Full Time employees and part time employees both declined in the month of October. With the total number of people added to the labour force around 310,000 with an average per month increase of 25,000 this continues to be well above the employment trend of the past few years and no real cause of concern for the RBA.

New Zealand

Adrian Orr last week left the official cash rate at 1.0% and said it wasn’t his intention to surprise markets. Most expected a cut of 25 basis points with investors backtracking open short NZD positions post release when the NZD surged higher.  This made the New Zealand dollar the week’s strongest performer against its G10 peers as most other central banks are holding easing policies.  Further easing by the RBNZ could still happen if the economy warrants it.  Interest rates will need to stay at low levels for a long period until inflation reaches the midpoint of the target level of 1-3%.  The New Zealand House Price Index lifted 3.9% year on year to October nationally with the Median House Price now 607,500 up from 595,000 a jump of 2.1% m/m. This is also a 8.2% increase y/y from October 2018 figures of 561,500.

United States

A fresh bout of optimism across currency markets Friday saw risk appetite lift, also boosted were equities and associated commodity prices. Conversations have taken place between US Treasury Steven Mnunchin and trade representative Lighthizer with Chinese premier Liu He about a “phase one” trade deal. Both sides have apparently had constructive talks, with US officials reporting that the two sides were close to locking in a deal.  We have had conflicting reports over recent days when talks ended in a stalemate after the US pushed Beijing for clarity over intellectual property rights. US farmers will get another cash subsidy this week, the second part of a three part 16 Billion aid package announced by Trump in May. There has been no further clarity if Trump has accepted China’s demands that the current tariffs be pulled back. Their still seems to be huge differences between China and the US, although we have seen markets stabilise and perk up with optimistic headlines – overall we suspect any deal could be some time away.


Last week’s German economic sentiment and German prelim quarterly GDP for the third quarter were positive with Germany narrowly avoiding slipping into a recession with GDP at 0.1%, a close call. The Euro bounced higher to close the week higher than most of its rivals after the news and improved risk appetite in the China/US trade talks. I’m not sure you could call 0.1% significant growth but the numbers don’t lie and for now the news will buoy sentiment in the Eurozone for a while. ECB’s Muller said the central bank could buy unconventional assets if the situation in the eurozone deteriorates further. The ECB is currently buying up nearly all of its government bonds of 20 Billion EUR per month. On the calendar this week we have French and German Manufacturing releases.

United Kingdom

It’s a quiet week ahead for UK data so here is a summary of where we are with Brexit for anyone who is still interested.

The UK voted to leave the UK in 2016, recently the English government asked the EU to delay the 31 October data to 31 January 2020.
This request was agreed by the EU, however the UK can leave earlier if the UK and EU approval any withdrawal agreement before the date.
We still have a possibility of a “no deal” Brexit if it not agreed by all parties before 31 January 2020
If the UK and EU agree to a Brexit agreement a transition period starts. That will see us through to December 2020. During this period the EU and UK current governing rules will still be in place. Nothing will change for businesses and the general population.
The transition period can be extended once only by up to two years, this would take us through to 31 December 2022

The UK have a General Election booked for the 12th December 2019
The Brexit outcome will depend on what happens in the Election.
The 5 options are:
• Brexit comes in 31 January 2020
• Renegotiation of the Brexit deal
• Referendum- similar to the one held in 2016
• Brexit is cancelled- This will only eventuate from a change of government who could revoke article 50
• No Brexit on 31 January 2020-  If no Brexit is passed by 31st January 2020 this is the default position


Positive headlines in the US/China trade negotiations have kept a lid on any decent Japanese Yen moves or momentum of late, investors instead have concentrated on risk crosses leaving the JPY behind. However, although the previous week was generally “risk on” supportive, this week may not be so glamorous for these related assets including the kiwi. Fears are becoming heightened in the Hong Kong protests and the Brexit political environment, not to mention between Iran and the US, with the US criticising Iran of supporting terrorism. This week’s Trade Balance and flash Manufacturing in Japan will hold the main focus but I sense the safe haven JPY buyers just may get the better of markets this week.


With no data publishing over the last week or so for the Loonie, the currency eased lower for the third week straight as macro geopolitical themes impacted. The Canadian Dollar (CAD) losing over 1.85% of its value against the NZD since late October. Looking ahead we have Manufacturing data Wednesday then CPI m/m printing Thursday and Retail Sales Friday to get the blood flowing. Monthly CPI for October will grab most of the attention after posting a poor September number of -0.4%. In July the Canadian Central bank projected inflation is 1.8% ending 2019 with 1.9% at the end of 2020. Currently the year to date to September is 1.9% a five month low with declines in gasoline prices having the biggest impact.

Major Announcements last week:

• RBNZ leave rates on hold at 1.0% surprising markets
• US CPI m/m prints up at 0.4% from 0.3% expected
• Australian Unemployment rises to 5.3%
• Germany avoids recession with a growth number of 0.1% for third quarter
• UK General Election polls show the Tories leading.

Economic Releases

Below are the weekly economic releases for this week (NZT)

Tuesday 19/11

  • 130pm, AUD, Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes

Thursday 21/11

  • 230am, CAD, CPI m/m
    • Previous -0.40%
  • 8am, USD, FOMC Meeting Minutes

Friday 22/11

  • 130am, EUR, ECB Monetary Policy Meeting Accounts
  • 240am, CAD, BOC Gov Poloz Speaks
  • 9pm, EUR, ECB President Lagarde Speaks 
  • 915pm, EUR, French Flash Services PMI
    • Forecast 53
    • Previous 52.9
  • 930pm, EUR, German Flash Manufacturing PMI
    • Forecast 42.9
    • Previous 42.1
  • 930pm, EUR, German Flash Services PMI
    • Forecast 52
    • Previous 51.6
  • 10pm, EUR, Flash Manufacturing PMI
    • Forecast 46.4
    • Previous 45.6

Saturday 23/11

  • 230am, CAD, Core Retail Sales m/m
    • Previous -0.2%
  • 345am, USD, Flash Manufacturing PMI
    • Forecast 51.5
    • Previous 51.3

FX Overview

For the second time since becoming governor of the RBNZ Adrian Orr surprised markets. He kept the NZ overnight cash rate at 1.0% after cutting 50 points in August to 1.0% when markets had forecasted 1.25%.  Prior to the announcement stats showed support for a cut around 50-70%. Further stimulus to the NZ economy will happen only if economic developments warrant it, the RBNZ expects growth to drop to 2.0% in the December quarter 2019. Interest rates will need to stay at low levels for a long period until inflation reaches the midpoint of the target level of 1-3%. The NZD was broadly higher, up 70 points post release or nearly a cent against the US Dollar where it’s been drifting around over the last two days. The New Zealand House Price Index lifted 3.9% year on year to October nationally with the Median House Price now 607,500 up from 595,000 a jump of 2.1% m/m. This is also a 8.2% increase y/y from October 2018 figures of 561,500. With the Auckland market prices dropping slightly over the past 2.5 years agents are starting to see signs that asking prices are creeping up, with the region perhaps finding its mojo again.

More twists in the US-China trade talks/negotiations deteriorated risk sentiment as the two sides battle to agree on future solution. Trump said “we’ll see what happens, but it’s moving along rapidly”. He also said that if they were not able to reach a deal he is prepared to raise tariffs to Chinese imports. One of the biggest concerns is the dispute over farm products such as soybean and pork of which China has agreed to buy up an additional 50B worth annually. The problem is China is avoiding striking a “formal” deal as a way out if any further tariffs are introduced. Earlier markets had been hopeful that Trump would roll back tariffs on existing levies and not impose new tariffs of 15% set for December 15th – US importers bear the brunt of these tariffs and pass most of it onto US consumers. We suggest a stalemate for some time yet.

Australian unemployment rose slightly to 5.3% yesterday from 5.2% pushing the Australian dollar broadly lower. Figures showed declines in the number of people employed in October with full time employees down 10,300 and part time down 8,700. To put this into perspective the total over the past 12 months was around 310,000 based on an average monthly increase of 25,800 which continues to trend well above employment growth figures over the past 20 years. With the RBA targeting 4.5% unemployment they certainly have a way to go, with this data sure to raise questions on easing policy at the next RBA meeting on 3rd December.