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FX Overview

The New Zealand Dollar remains under pressure against a broad range of currencies. Softer US inflation numbers attracted buyers of the greenback despite rising predictions that the Federal Reserve will cut the benchmark cash rate again soon. US CPI for the month of May was weaker than predicted with the rate easing to 1.8% from earlier predictions of 1.9%. This has boosted investors’ expectations that the Federal Reserve will move to cut rates on June 20.  US Equities traded into the red with energy stocks being dragged down by falling crude oil prices (51.30). Comments from president Trump have intensified issues in Hong Kong as the proposed extradition law intensifies with protests taking place. Markets are spooked with the Hang seng falling 1.7% Wednesday/Thursday. Markets have been trading within recent ranges and may continue to be risk averse in the lead up to the G20 summit starting 28-29th June in Japan. Certainly the unrest in Hong Kong only adds to the ongoing tensions building pre-summit.

The British Pound under performed overnight after the UK Parliament rejected Labour’s plan for a no deal Brexit. MP’s have quashed Labour’s efforts to take control, blocking attempts to stop a no-deal Brexit. Voting results were 309 versus 298 in favour. If the vote had been successful it would have given opponents a chance to legislate to stop the UK leaving with no deal on the 3st of October. Last night’s voting kicked off, Johnson won 114 votes far ahead of his next rival and well ahead of the other 9 contestants. Three were eliminated after the vote count, the next vote for the remaining 7 candidates takes place next Tuesday.

The Australian Unemployment rate released higher than expected at 5.2% after markets predicted 5.1% for the month of May. The number of new people added to the labour force was 42,300 compared with an expected 16,000. Since the numbers were mainly made up of part time workers, 39,800 with full time numbers only making up 2,400, the Aussie Dollar dipped lower across the board and hovers around the weekly low of 0.6570 against the US Dollar. The RBA has said for a while jobs numbers are the pivotal to monetary policy, saying interest rates will be cut further if jobs data weaken. Markets have largely priced in further cuts over the course of the rest of 2019 but some analysts are saying the RBA will need to go a step further and introduce further policy measures.

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