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BY JOEL HOLMES

Markets flat ahead of Trump healthcare bill


Australian Dollar

AUD / USD

Expected Range

0.7550 – 0.7700

Despite pushing through key resistance areas this week and reaching highs of 0.7750, The Australian dollar has declined just under 1% over the past 24 hours and could see 0.7600 support taken out over the coming days. Trading in a tight range in the domestic session of 0.7655 – 0.7675, we saw an overnight low 0.7630 in overnight trading. Markets hoping for an update in monetary policy outlook by Fed Reserve Chair Janet Yellen were left disappointed in her speech as investors look to further rhetoric by FOMC members heading into the weekend. A quiet day on the local docket, the Australian dollar opens at 0.7625.

Great British Pound

GBP / AUD

Expected Range

1.6360 – 1.6480

Breaking through resistance at the 1.2500 barrier when valued against its US Counterpart yesterday, the Great British Pound has attracted renewed buying interest over the past 24 hours. Buoyed by a retail sales read which showed the quantity of purchases rose by 1.7 percent last month when compared to January' result, signs of buying strength across the household sector were well received by the broader market. Whilst Greenback bulls were kept comfortably in check following news that House Republicans had postponed a vote on an important health-care bill, near-term USD trajectory remains clouded as questions remain over Trumps ability to push pro-growth policies through Congress. Topping out a high of 1.2531 the Sterling opens stronger versus the Greenback (1.2522), Aussie (1.6415) and the Kiwi (1.7816).

Majors

USD, EUR, JPY

Expected Range

N/A

The US Dollar index was steady after a week of declines, seeing no change at 99.75 in the current risk off environment. Most currency pairs have traded in a tight range as equity and currency markets await Trumps health care bill decision in congress. United States unemployment claims of 258,000 were slightly above expectations climbing to a seven week high. The Euro traded in a tight thirty pip range against the Greenback 1.0770-1.0800, with the USD/JPY continued downside momentum seeing an intraday low of 110.60. Markets will take its cues from a number of key FOMC officials speaking over the next 24 hours.

New Zealand Dollar

NZD / USD

Expected Range

0.7000 – 0.7050

Remaining firmly in the neutral camp the RBNZ' decision in keeping underlying policy settings unchanged had a muted impact on the New Zealand dollar yesterday. Falling well short of spurring any significant degree of interest investors have opted to play a somewhat secondary role this week as witnessed by the unusually tight trading ranges across the NZD/USD pair. Opening this morning 0.1 percent lower than Monday' starting point the upcoming vote on the US healthcare bill is being touted as the next major hurdle for the world' reserve currency hence having broader implications for New Zealand' domestic unit. Currently swapping hands a rate of 0.7025 when valued against its US Counterpart, today' session is once again shaping up as a relatively tame one.

BY BRETT OTTAWA

The greenback remains under pressure against all of its major rivals


Australian Dollar

AUD / USD

Expected Range

0.7600 – 0.7730

The Australian dollar having maintained a relatively tight 49-point trading range throughout much of its domestic session, is relatively unchanged this morning when compared to the US Dollar. The AUD/USD pair reached an overnight high of 0.7688. On the data front, today, quiet again locally, the Aussie will look offshore at the US as Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellan will be in action tonight. The Aussie will likely keep trading according to sentiment for the remainder of this week as the local calendar remains empty. The AUD/USD pair is currently trading at 0.7672 down 0.14 per cent over the last 24 hours. We now expect support to hold on moves approaching 0.7640 while any upward push will likely meet resistance around 0.7700.

Great British Pound

GBP / AUD

Expected Range

1.6200 – 1.6300

The Great British Pound attempted to break resistance at 1.2500 early on in the European session but failed to crack through February highs. With broader weakness on markets in a risk off environment, the Sterling was sold off to eventual lows of 1.2430 as reports of a Terrorist attack in London filtered through. No further news on Brexit as investors wait for the trigger of Article 50 on March 29th. Cable erased all losses in the North American session to rally back to 1.2490 at the end of trading. The Great British pound opens flat against the Australian dollar (1.6270) and New Zealand Dollar (1.7750)

Majors

USD, EUR, JPY

Expected Range

N/A

New Zealand Dollar

NZD / USD

Expected Range

0.6940 – 0.7140

Once again the New Zealand dollar traded in a tight range yesterday between 0.7015-0.7040 with little to no data in the domestic trading session. As the Reserve Bank of New Zealand continues to maintain its neutral stance on monetary policy, interest rates were kept on hold in this morning' official cash rate decision at 1.75%. The Kiwi initially rose in overnight trading to a high of 0.7075 before being sold off post RBNZ announcement to a low this morning of 0.7040. Governor Wheeler made no change to New Zealand' economic outlook in its latest statement as markets continue to price no further movements in the OCR rate this year.

BY MATT RICHARDSON

Aussie fails to capitalise on USD weakness as resistance forces unit lower


Australian Dollar

AUD / USD

Expected Range

0.7630 - 0.7730

The Australian dollar edged lower throughout trade on Tuesday failing to capitalise on wider USD weakness and relinquished gains made above 0.77. Having approached a key level of technical resistance and multi-month high the AUD again struggled to extend gains above 0.7730/50. Despite a strong uptick in ABS house price index dampening suggestions the RBA may look to soften monetary policy the Aussie failed to shake of dollar bears and stretch its legs. A consolidated shift in monetary policy expectations and a deepening USD correction is needed for the AUD to break this current range bound cycle. A move through 0.7730 could prompt a rally toward 0.78 with resistance at 0.7775/80 and 0.7830 blocking broader moves toward 0.80.

Great British Pound

GBP / AUD

Expected Range

1.5975 - 1.6325

The Great British pound has rallied in overnight trading to its highest level in three weeks as inflation figures rose to an annual pace of 2.3% for the month of February. Trading sideways for most of the Asian session between 1.2350-1.2375, momentum shifted higher for the Sterling, rallying over 1% to test 1.2500 against its US counterpart. Markets are now fully pricing in an interest rate hike next year by the Bank of England to depress inflation which has climbed above their targeted levels of 2% for the first time in four years. The British Pound opens higher against the Australian dollar (1.6220) and New Zealand dollar (1.7720).

Majors

USD, EUR, JPY

Expected Range

N/A

The U.S Dollar continued along the path of least resistance edging lower through trade on Tuesday as investors looked to safe haven assets amid concerns of slower monetary policy normalisation and a delay in the introduction of pro-growth strategies. Fears President Trump' administration will delay the implementation of expansionary policies across key tax reforms, infrastructure projects and regulatory amendments pushed equities and stocks lower, forcing treasury yields down and extending the USD sell off. Last weeks measured and cautious assessment of future policy amendments fell well short of market bull' expectations and coupled with the delays in America First policies spruiked by Trump throughout the election campaign and market participants are forced to adjust current positions. Falling to three week lows against the Yen the greenback touched intraday lows at 111.63 while the Euro moved through 1.08 to touch session highs at 1.0820, its highest level in 7 weeks. The Euro found support following a French presidential debate where in the chances of far right nationalist Marine Le Pen appeared to take a measured blow with Centrist Emmanuel Macron outshining the anti EU candidate. Attentions now turn to key commentary from Fed Chair Janet Yellen Thursday for direction into the end of the week.

New Zealand Dollar

NZD / USD

Expected Range

0.6980 - 0.7080

The New Zealand dollar once again remained in a tight range during the local session yesterday falling to an intraday low of 0.7035. Both NZ Visitor arrivals and credit card spending figures did little to move the Kiwi. With investors turning their attention to the Global Dairy Trade Auction, the NZD/USD rallied to a high of 0.7090 overnight as the average price rose by 1.7% and the price of whole milk powder increased by 2.9%. All gains were quickly erased during the North American trading session with equities and treasuries turning lower in a risk off environment. This saw the Kiwi driven to a low on open this morning of 0.7040.

BY MATT RICHARDSON

FOMC Hangover weighs heavy on USD


Australian Dollar

AUD / USD

Expected Range

0.7650 – 0.7780

The Australian dollar gapped higher through trade on Monday buoyed by wider USD softness following last week' dovish FOMC monetary policy outlook. Punching through 0.77 the AUD moved through resistance at 0.7690 touching intraday highs at 0.7746. The Aussie then edged lower pulling back toward key technical resistance at 0.7730 and opens this morning at 0.7729. The hangover from last week' dour outlook and propose slower rate of adjustment along the road to monetary policy normalisation forced the greenback lower as investors scrambled to correct positions and sell down USD longs. Safe Haven, emerging market and commodity currencies continued to benefit through trade on Monday as attentions turn to Today' RBA minutes for renewed guidance into diverging central bank policy outlooks.

Great British Pound

GBP / AUD

Expected Range

1.5930 – 1.6100

It was a quiet night for traders as the Great British Pound drifted lower from an intraday high against the Greenback of 1.2430. The Pound started its descend as more certainty overnight regarding Article 50 has come to the forefront of investors’ minds as Theresa May communicated to the European council that she will trigger Article 50 on March 29th. UK eagerly awaits this evenings inflation figures as previous noted by the British Chambers of commerce that inflation is predicted to reach 2.7% in 2018. Cable opens this morning at 1.2360.

Majors

USD, EUR, JPY

Expected Range

N/A

The U.S Dollar struggled to extend breaks above six week lows as the spectre of the Federal Reserve' dovish undertone hangs heavy over the world' base currency. The dollar retreated last week in the wake of the Fed' interest rate hike as investors scrambled to adjust interest rate bets as the FOMC hinted a slower pace of monetary policy normalisation was appropriate and the inheritance of the incumbent sell off continued through trade on Monday. While comments from FOMC member Charles Evans, where in, the Chicago Fed President suggested the board was on track to raise rates twice through the year steadied the ship market participants appeared reluctant in reversing losses ahead a raft of key Fed Policy makers commentary. Attentions now turn to Fed president Janet Yellen on for a deeper insight into short term direction.

New Zealand Dollar

NZD / USD

Expected Range

0.6975 – 0.7125

The New Zealand dollar traded in a tight range in local markets yesterday moving off support at 0.7010. Westpac consumer sentiment did little to move the Kiwi on open yesterday, while the NZ performance of services fell slightly but remains above its long term average. The Kiwi reached a high of 0.7070 as investors wait for the latest round of Global Dairy trade auction readings on Wednesday. The New Zealand Dollar opens steady at 0.7050.

BY MATT RICHARDSON

Ranges steady after mid-week rally


Australian Dollar

AUD / USD

Expected Range

0.7650 – 0.7730

The Australian dollar held a tight range throughout much of Friday struggling to break a 35 point trading band. With little domestic data on hand to drive direction investors appeared reluctant to push key technical resistance points and extend gains beyond 0.77. Having rallied strongly midweek in the wake of the Federal Reserve' dour interest rate outlook the Aussie upturn stalled on moves approaching 0.7730 and wrestled with moves nearing 0.77 U.S Cents. Despite the midweek bounce market participants seemed disinclined to extend upside advances through the medium term with central bank yields expected to narrow throughout the year. While the Fed failed to back calls for three to four interest rate amendments through 2017 there is still an expectation the FOMC will move to tighten monetary policy further and when contrast against the RBA' neutral monetary policy stance the attractiveness of the AUD as a higher yielding unit begins to diminish. Attentions this week turn to tomorrow' RBA meeting minutes for further insight into wider monetary policy expectations.

Great British Pound

GBP / AUD

Expected Range

1.5930 - 1.6150

The Great British Pound maintained its upward trajectory since the Bank of England kept interest rates on hold Thursday evening. In another central bank twist similar to the ECB, one policy maker Kristin Forbes renown for being hawkish voted for a rate hike and caught the market by surprise. Noting a focus on rising inflation in the BOE minutes, local investors turn its attention to inflation figures for the month of February out on Tuesday 21st at 9:30 GMT. The cable cross has seen higher highs each subsequent day, rallying from 1.2160 to a high of 1.24 not seen since March 1st on the weekly close. GBP/USD opens this morning at 1.2380.

Majors

USD, EUR, JPY

Expected Range

N/A

The U.S Dollar suffered one of its worst weekly performances since July last year in the wake of the FOMC and Federal Reserve' cautiously optimistic commentary last week with Bloomberg' spot index touching November low. Despite raising rates the Fed failed to deliver the hawkish assessment sought after by market participants and a rapid unwinding of USD longs forced the world' base currency lower. Loses were further compounded following victory for Centrist Mark Rutte and his VVD party in the highly anticipated Dutch Election. The win and comprehensive defeat of Nationalist Gert Wilder' goes a long way in easing perceived political instability across Europe and narrows the chances of French far right candidate Marine Le Pen. The Euro held touched intraday highs at 1.0783 and despite edging marginally into the close held onto gains above 1.07. With little of note on today' domestic docket attentions this week turn to mid-level data through the first half of the week with commentary from Fed Chair Janet Yellen steering direction into the close.

New Zealand Dollar

NZD / USD

Expected Range

0.6975 - 0.7050

The New Zealand dollar traded in a tight fifty-point range to end a busy week for currency markets. The NZD rallied earlier in the week to a high of 0.7050 against the US Dollar as market participants were left disappointed with no change to the so called “dot plot” and the US Federal Reserve hiking interest rates for only the third time since the GFC. Testing 0.7000 intraday, the New Zealand rallied to a high of 0.7040 and opens this morning at 0.7010. An early release of Westpac consumer sentiment saw a decline for the first quarter although had little impact on the local currency. On the docket this week is the only central bank meeting this week on Thursday as the RBNZ expects to keep their official cash rate on hold at 1.75%

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