The New Zealand dollar rallied early in the week and was able to maintain those gains for a net positive close on Friday.
Positive global risk sentiment, not-so-dovish commentary from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and better-than-expected economic updates from New Zealand were the likely drivers for the Kiwi’s broad outperformance.
New Zealand Headlines and Economic data
New Zealand trade surplus widened from 722M NZD to 1.3B NZD
While the NZ trade update was positive, the round of Kiwi strength was likely also on broad positive risk sentiment (continued recovery hopes and vaccine development news)
RBNZ: financial system is in a “solid” position
RBNZ warns banks’ ability to absorb shocks ‘is not unlimited’
Australia eyes New Zealand travel ‘bubble’ as cases fall
The broad, sudden drop in the Kiwi against the majors during the U.S. trading session was likely a sympathy move with the Aussie, which suddenly fell with no apparent direct catalysts. Arguably, it was on a shift in risk sentiment, this time possibly on geopolitical tensions rising (e.g., U.S. weighs sanctions on Chinese officials, firms over Hong Kong, China approves controversial national security bill for Hong Kong).
ANZ business confidence index up from -45.6 to -41.8
NZ jobs down 37K m/m (1.7%) For April 2020 – NZ Stats
A bit of choppy price action during the Asia and London sessions, but we did see some directional bias during the U.S. session as the Kiwi rallied a bit.
This was was likely due to the continued positive global risk sentiment, which may have stemmed from this session from Europe as the bigger-than-expected recovery fund proposal may be brightening up the outlook in Europe.
The Kiwi was mixed against the majors on Friday, so it’s likely global risk sentiment and counter currency drivers were the bigger influence heading into the weekend.
We eventually did see some uniform action at the end of the U.S. session as the Kiwi broadly bounced higher, likely on relief Trump’s press conference after it lacked any major negative surprises.