Article Highlights

  • New Zealand quarterly employment up by 1.1%
  • New Zealand jobless rate down from 6.2% to 6.0% as expected
  • U.S. factory orders down by 1.5% vs. estimated 1.9% decline
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Major currency pairs bounced off their lows in the latest U.S. trading session, as risk sentiment improved slightly. U.S. factory orders printed a smaller than expected decline of 1.5% instead of the projected 1.9% drop. Other than the factory orders report, there were no other major economic events in the U.S., except perhaps some speeches from a few Fed officials.

Fed official Evans remarked that interest rates are likely to stay at their current levels until next year, despite the considerable improvement in the jobless rate. As for Fed official Lacker, the Fed is likely to carry on with its taper in the coming months, saying that the weak December jobs data was probably just an outlier.

Over in New Zealand, the quarterly employment change figure was stronger than expected at 1.1% with the jobless rate improving from 6.2% to 6.0%. This was enough to give the Kiwi a boost back above the .8200 mark against the U.S. dollar in today’s Asian session.

There are no top-tier reports lined up for the next few trading hours though so it could be all about risk sentiment driving price action. Make sure you keep tabs on Asian equity markets and if further selloffs are seen, risk aversion might extend its stay in the forex arena.

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