NZD/USD – New Zealand dollar drops as China raises ante in trade war

After a quiet start to the week, the New Zealand dollar has dropped considerably in the Wednesday session. In North American trade, NZD/USD is trading at 0.6508, down 0.53% on the day. On the release front, there are no major data releases out of the U.S. or New Zealand. In the U.S., the Richmond Manufacturing Index improved to 5 points, shy of the estimate of 6 points. In New Zealand, ANZ Business Confidence improved to -32.0. Later in the day, the government releases the annual budget.

Reports that China has raised the ante in a bitter trade dispute have rocked global equity markets and hurt risk currencies such as the kiwi. Chinese media reported on Wednesday that China is threatening to curb the supply of rate metals to the U.S. These products are used in the production of items such as cell phones and electric cars, so any interruption in supply could hurt U.S. technology companies.

With the trade war between the U.S. and China in full swing, it’s no surprise that the business sector in New Zealand is deeply pessimistic about economic conditions. China is a major trading partner, with some 25% of New Zealand exports going to the Asian giant. The ANZ Business Confidence survey remains mired deep in negative territory. Still, the indicator moved slightly higher in May, good enough for a 3-month high. Meanwhile, the semi-annual RBNZ Financial Stability Report stated that financial risks had not increased since the last report in November. The bank circled high consumer debt and New Zealand’s exposure to global developments as the main points of concern.

The U.S. consumer remains very optimistic about the economy, according to the latest CB consumer confidence index. The index jumped to 134.1 in May, up from 129.2 in the April release. This score easily beat the estimate of 130.1 and is close to 18-year highs. Retail sales were soft in April, but the sharp improvement in consumer confidence has raised hopes that retail sales data will improve in May.

The U.S. economy continues to perform well, and first-quarter economic growth is expected to remain above the 3% level. Preliminary GDP will be released on Thursday and is expected to post a healthy gain of 3.1%. In April, the initial release came in at 3.2%, easily beating the estimate of 2.2%. If the revised reading also beats expectations, traders can expect the greenback to move higher against its rivals.

China’s elements of surprise

Stocks Drop as Recessionary Pressures Build

NZD/USD Fundamentals

Tuesday (May 28)

  • 17:00 RBNZ Financial Stability Report
  • 19:00 RBNZ Governor Orr Speaks
  • 21:00 New Zealand ANZ Business Confidence. Actual -32.0
  • 21:10 RBNZ Governor Orr Speaks

Wednesday (May 29)

  • 10:00 US Richmond Manufacturing Index. Estimate 6. Actual 5
  • 22:00 New Zealand Annual Budget Release

Thursday (May 30)

  • 8:30 US Preliminary GDP. Estimate 3.1%
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 216K

*All release times are DST

*Key events are in bold

NZD/USD for Wednesday, May 29, 2019

NZD/USD May 29 at 11:10 DST

Open: 0.6543 Low: 0.6552 High: 0.6507 Close: 0.6508

NZD/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
0.6237 0.6348 0.6424 0.6539 0.6607 0.6699

NZD/USD was flat for most of the Asian session. The pair lost ground in European trade and the downward trend continues in the North American session

  • 0.6424 is providing support
  • 0.6539 is the next resistance line
  • Current range: 0.6424 to 0.6539

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 0.6424, 0.6348 and 0.6237
  • Above: 0.6539, 0.6607, 0.6699, and 0.6793

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Kenny Fisher joined OANDA in 2012 as a Currency Analyst. Kenny writes a daily column about current economic and political developments affecting the major currency pairs, with a focus on fundamental analysis. Kenny began his career in forex at Bendix Foreign Exchange in Toronto, where he worked as a Corporate Account Manager for over seven years.