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Trade war fears continued to grip the markets, but a lack of fresh catalysts produced mixed price action across different assets during the Asian session.

  • New Zealand posts trade surplus in February
  • WSJ: U.S., China quietly negotiating trade resolutions
  • RBNZ officially adds sustainable employment to its mandate

Major Events/Reports:

New Zealand’s trade data

New Zealand kicked off the week with a positive report on its trade activities.

The economy clocked in 217M NZD worth of trade surplus for the month of February, which is way better than the 100M NZD deficit that market players were expecting and the 42M NZD deficit seen last year.

Apparently, exports shot up by 11% from a year earlier on the back of higher sales of butter (+28%), untreated logs (+22%), sheep meat (+21%), and milk powder, butter, and cheese (+5.3%).

Meanwhile, imports hit new February highs with a 4.6% growth to 4.244B NZD. New Zealand imported more mechanical machinery and equipment (+10%), food residues, wastes, and fodder (+70.3%), and palm oil cake (+109%).

The surprisingly strong report was welcome news for Kiwi bulls who were caught in the trade war between China and the U.S.

Mixed start to the week

Though trade war concerns continued to keep risk-takers in the sidelines, speculations that the U.S. and China are quietly negotiating trade resolutions have inspired a more mixed price action during the Asian session.

  • Nikkei fell by 0.54% to 20,506.8;
  • Australia’s A SX 200 is up by 0.40% to 5,778.7;
  • Hang Seng is down by 0.63% to 30,118.1, and
  • Shanghai index is down by 1.57% to 3,103.144.

Even commodities failed to trade in a single direction.

  • Brent crude oil is up by 0.03% to $70.29;
  • U.S. WTI is down by 0.20% to $65.59, and
  • Gold is up by 0.08% to $1,348.00.

Major Market Mover(s):

AUD and NZD
A not-so-gloomy start to the week and news that the U.S. and China might be working out trade details on their own have provided a kickstart for the high-yielding comdolls.

AUD/USD is up by 18 pips (+0.23%) to .7721;
AUD/JPY is up by 20 pips (+0.24%) to 80.97;
AUD/CHF is up by 17 pips (+0.24%) to .7310, and
AUD/CAD is up by 23 pips (+0.23%) to .9936.

NZD/USD is up by 26 pips (+0.36%) to .7266;
NZD/JPY is up by 29 pips (+0.38%) to 76.20;
GBP/NZD is down by 31 pips (-0.16%) to 1.9487, and
NZD/CHF is up by 25 pips (+0.37%) to .6880.

Watch Out For:

  • 8:30 am GMT: U.K.’s gross mortgage approvals (39.2K expected, 40.1K previous)
  • 9:30 am GMT: German Bundesbank President Weidmann to give a speech in Vienna