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Bob Mason
Indices of currencies on display

Earlier in the Day:

It’s was a relatively quiet start to the day on the economic calendar this morning. The Aussie Dollar and the Kiwi Dollar were in action in the early part of the day.

For the Aussie Dollar

The Westpac Consumer Sentiment Index rose by 2.5% to 107.7 in November, falling short of a forecasted 3.8% rise. In October, the Index had jumped by 11.9% to 105.0.

The Aussie Dollar moved from $0.72854 to $0.72822 upon release of the figures. At the time of writing, the Aussie Dollar was up by 0.03% to $0.7286.

For the Kiwi Dollar

The RBNZ delivered its November monetary policy decision this morning.

In line with market expectations, the RBNZ held the Official Cash Rate unchanged at 0.25%. While the RBNZ left the cash rate unchanged, the Committee did deliver more monetary policy stimulus.

In summary,

  • A Funding for Lending Programme (“FLP”) will commence in December. This will reduce banks’ funding costs and lower interest rates.
  • Large Scale Asset Purchase Programme (“LSAP”) of up to NZ$100bn.
  • Official Cash Rate (“OCR”) unchanged at 0.25%, while ready to drop the OCR into negative territory.

Salient points from the Rate Statement included:

  • Global economic activity has improved following the severe contraction, though there are geo-divergences.
  • Some economies, including China, have seen surprising resilience.
  • The impact of the global economic weakness on New Zealand had been more muted than anticipated.
  • Commodity and asset prices have remained firm.
  • Members remain concerned about the downside risks stemming from the 2nd wave of the pandemic

Domestically

  • The pandemic was having significant implications for the Committee in meeting its remit.
    • Both headline and underlying inflation were below 2%, with inflation expectations subdued.
    • Employment was assessed to be below its maximum sustainable level.
  • Closed international borders meant service export industries, such as tourism, would operate below capacity for an extended period.
  • Members agreed that there was substantial uncertainty around how the economy would adjust.
  • It was therefore appropriate for fiscal policy to play the primary role in supporting the economy.
  • Without further policy easing, members projected that the labor market would weaken further near-term before recovering over subsequent years.
  • Inflation was projected to fluctuate around the bottom of the Committee’s 1-3% target range until late in the projection period.
  • Economic outcomes could be stronger than assumed if household or business spending accelerated.

Policy Outlook

  • Members agreed that, under current circumstances, the appropriate stance to achieve its remit objections would be to provide further monetary stimulus.
  • The Committee reaffirmed that an FLP, a lower or negative OCR, purchase of foreign assets, and interest rate swaps remain under consideration.
  • Members noted that the banking system is on track to be operationally ready for negative rates by year-end.

The Kiwi Dollar moved from $0.68222 to $0.68422 upon release of the statement. At the time of writing, the Kiwi Dollar was up by 0.10% to $0.6838 ahead of the RBNZ Press Conference.

Elsewhere

At the time of writing, the Japanese Yen was up by 0.22% to ¥105.07 against the U.S Dollar.

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The Day Ahead:

For the EUR

It’s a quiet day ahead on the economic calendar. There are no material stats due out of the Eurozone to provide the EUR with direction.

The lack of stats will leave the EUR in the hands of COVID-19 news updates and news from Capitol Hill.

At the time of writing, the EUR was up by 0.08% to $1.1824.

For the Pound

It’s a quiet day ahead on the economic calendar. There are no material stats due out of the UK to provide the Pound with direction. The lack of stats will leave the Pound in the hands of Brexit updates and COVID-19 news.

At the time of writing, the Pound was up down 0.07% to $1.3263.

Across the Pond

It’s a quiet day ahead for the U.S Dollar, with no material stats to provide the markets with direction.

The lack of stats will leave any updates on U.S politics and COVID-19 in focus. U.S stimulus talk and Biden’s plans to take on the COVID-19 pandemic will be key areas of focus.

At the time of writing, the Dollar Spot Index was down by 0.04% to 92.716.

For the Loonie

It’s a quiet day on the economic data front. There are no material stats to provide the Loonie with direction on the day.

A lack of stats will leave the Loonie in the hands of market risk sentiment and COVID-19 news updates.

On the oil front, OPEC’s monthly report and crude oil inventory numbers will also provide direction.

At the time of writing, the Loonie was up by 0.02% to C$1.3031 against the U.S Dollar.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

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