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New Zealand Dollar Jumped The Most Since November

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New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key

December is turning into a cruel month for traders counting on cuts in interest rates to drive down currencies.

New Zealand’s dollar jumped the most since November after central bank chief Graeme Wheeler delivered the policy easing that economists had predicted without the promise of further reductions. That came less just a week after his European counterpart, Mario Draghi, sparked the euro’s biggest rally since 2009 by unveiling a smaller-than-anticipated stimulus package.

The elephant in the room is the Federal Reserve. Its looming policy decision is making it trickier for speculators to predict the actions of other central banks and to work out where exchange rates are headed. As with the euro, strategists are now reassessing forecasts for the kiwi, becoming less certain how far it can extend this year’s 13 percent drop, which is already the steepest since 2008.

“Investors are clearly finding it harder to read central banks,” said Mansoor Mohi-uddin, senior markets strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in Singapore. “Central banks are all hoping the Fed’s imminent tightening will weaken their domestic currencies against the greenback, so they’re holding back on meeting the market’s expectations for further easing.”

The Parker Global Currency Manager Index of top funds has lost 0.7 percent this month to extend its slide in 2015 to 2.7 percent. That puts it on course for its worst annual decline since 2011.

Falling Short

For New Zealand dollar bears, Reserve Bank Governor Wheeler didn’t go far enough when he cut the official cash rate by a quarter-percentage point to 2.5 percent, completing the reversal of the four increases in 2014. They were left disappointed by his comments in Wellington on Thursday that the fourth cut this year should be enough to ensure inflation accelerates toward the central bank’s target. Lower interest rates tend to reduce demand for currencies.

Instead, traders will have to depend on the prospect of further U.S. rate increases, as well as the falling Chinese yuan and slumping commodity prices, to push the kiwi lower, RBS’s Mohi-uddin said.

The local dollar was at 67.53 U.S. cents as of 8:53 a.m. in London on Friday, having rallied from a six-year low of 61.30 on Aug. 24 and as low as 65.82 just after the RBNZ’s policy announcement. It gained as much as 1.7 percent by the New York close on Wednesday, the trading session that included the policy decision, the steepest intraday climb since Nov. 19.

‘Relatively Robust’

“We still like the U.S. dollar higher heading into the Fed, and the current concerns about commodity prices and China support the case for New Zealand dollar weakness,” said Raiko Shareef, a markets strategist at Bank of New Zealand Ltd. in Wellington. “But there will be some offset by a relatively robust New Zealand economy and an on-hold RBNZ, which means that weakness may be more modest than we’d thought earlier.”

Currency bears were also caught out as the euro surged 3.1 percent on Dec. 3 after the European Central Bank’s quantitative-easing overhaul and deposit-rate cut fell short of what some investors had predicted. Draghi repeatedly hinted about more easing in the run-up to the gathering, prompting hedge funds and speculators to push bets on a weaker euro close to a record.

After two cuts this year, the Bank of Korea left its benchmark rate unchanged Thursday, saying it would wait to see how the Fed’s decision impacted its economy.

That may focus attention on whether other central banks will be influenced by the prospect of an imminent U.S. rate increase. Officials in Sweden, Hungary and the Czech Republic are all due to meet before the Fed decision next week. Norway’s central bank will decide on policy after its U.S. counterpart.

Reassessing Forecasts

The full implications of this month’s decision in Wellington have yet to be digested. In the wake of the RBNZ meeting, Macquarie Bank Ltd. and Bank of New Zealand are both looking again at their forecasts for the kiwi to weaken to 61 U.S. cents in the first half of 2016. The median estimate in a Bloomberg economist survey is for a drop to 62 cents.

New Zealand’s dollar tumbled 18 percent against its U.S. counterpart in the first three quarters of this year, and since the end of September has rebounded almost 6 percent, outpacing all of its major peers. The resurgence has been helped by prices for dairy, the country’s biggest export, stabilizing after reaching a 12-year low in August.

Wheeler has now unwound all of the 1 percentage point of rate increases he carried out last year, taking borrowing costs back to the record low of 2.5 percent that he inherited when the New Zealand native took up his post in 2012 after spending more than a decade in Washington as a World Bank official.

Preserving Ammunition

“Strictly speaking, the explicit easing bias remains, but it is conditional and the RBNZ made it clear they think they have done enough,” said Gareth Berry, a foreign-exchange and rates strategist at Macquarie Bank in Singapore. “Apart from the usual sensitivity to dairy auctions, global influences will have a greater say.”

He has been relying on lower rates to make the nation’s exports more competitive, though he’s reluctant to ease further as Auckland’s property boom spreads and the economy shows signs of gaining momentum.

“It does seem that the central banks hope that the Fed will help them keep their currencies from rallying,” said Valentin Marinov, head of Group-of-10 currency research at Credit Agricole SA’s corporate and investment-banking unit in London. “They feel they need to preserve some of their ammunition for the future battles of the global currency war.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Pound

British Pound Extends Decline as 44 British Lawmakers Resigns

British Pound sustained its decline against the United States Dollar and other global counterparts on Wednesday after five additional British lawmakers resigned their positions in protest against a series of scandals rocking the House of Commons in recent weeks.

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British pound

British Pound sustained its decline against the United States Dollar and other global counterparts on Wednesday after five additional British lawmakers resigned their positions in protest against a series of scandals rocking the House of Commons in recent weeks.

A total of 44 British lawmakers have resigned under Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s leadership, accusing the Prime Minister of engaging in or condoning actions that put parliament moral in question.

Against the American Dollar, Great Britain Pounds (GBP) dropped from 1.2164 it peaked on Monday to 1.1934 in the early hours of Thursday.

While against the Japanese Yen, one of the world’s safe-haven currencies, GBP exchanged at 162.02, down from 165.26 it traded on Tuesday.

The decline was broad-based as the embattled GBP also lost some ground against the Swiss Franc to exchange at 1.1568, down from about 1.1687 on Tuesday.

On Wednesday,  five lawmakers signed in one go. In their letter, they said “It has become increasingly clear that the Government cannot function given the issues that have come to light and the way in which they have been handled,” they wrote.

Selaine Saxby, Claire Coutinho and David Johnston were the latest lawmakers to tender their resignation on Wednesday.

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Naira

Naira Plunges to N621 at Black Market

The Nigerian Naira remained under pressure at the unregulated parallel market popularly known as the black market on Tuesday.

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Naira - Investors King

The Nigerian Naira remained under pressure at the unregulated parallel market popularly known as the black market on Tuesday. The Naira exchanged at N621 to a United States Dollar amid persistent foreign exchange scarcity.

At the Investors and Exporters’ forex window, the local currency dropped to N425.75 against the United States Dollar after opening the day at N422.25/US$1 on Monday. Forex traders in that segment of the forex market transacted $47.56 million in value and volume, Investors King reports.

However, Naira improved slightly against the U.S Dollar at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) forex section. Naira exchange rate to dollar improved marginally from N415.86/US$ to N415.8.

Against the Pounds Sterling, the Nigerian Naira declined in value to N505.6544 from N500.6539. Similarly, against the European common currency, the local currency dipped slightly in value from N434.0331 to N434.7605.

Crude Oil

Oil prices dropped by $6 on Tuesday as concerns over the global recession containing demand outweighed supply concerns.

Brent crude oil, the international benchmark for Nigerian oil, declined by $6.65 to $106.85 a barrel while the U.S. West Texas Crude Oil lost $5.65 to $102.78 a barrel.

“Oil is still struggling to break out from its current recessionary malaise as the market pivots away from inflation to economic despair,” Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management wrote.

Crude oil remains an important commodity for the Nigerian economy given its nature as a mono-product economy. Africa’s largest economy relies on crude oil revenue to service its economy and sustain its currency value against its global counterparts.

However, the inability to prop up crude oil production despite the increase in oil prices continued to hurt Nigeria’s foreign reserves and the availability of dollars in the economy. Hence, the Nigerian Naira is presently trading at a record low of N621 to a United States Dollar.

Cryptocurrency Exchange Rates

Global economic uncertainty ahead of the projected recession continues to dictate the performance of the cryptocurrency space in recent weeks.

Bitcoin extended its decline by 2.37% in the last 24 hours to $19,387.33 per coin. ETH, a token of the Ethereum protocol, lost 3.09% of its value to $1,079 a coin.

Meanwhile, Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has suspended its cryptocurrency project called Libra.  Celsius, a cryptocurrency lender, has paused withdrawals and announced plans to cut 150 jobs.

Cryptocurrency space market value dropped from over $2.5 trillion at its peak to about $900 million presently. The huge decline forced several players to cut losses and halt capital inflow into the cryptocurrency space.

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Naira

Dollar to Naira Today Wednesday, 29 June 2022

The dollar to naira exchange opened the day at N420.70 to a U.S. Dollar on Tuesday and closed at N421, representing a decline in value of N0.30.

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Naira Exchange Rates - Investors King

The dollar to naira exchange rate today Wednesday, 29 June 2022 remained largely unchanged at the Investors and Exporters forex window and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s section of foreign exchange.

The dollar to naira exchange opened the day at N420.70 to a U.S. Dollar on Tuesday and closed at N421, representing a decline in value of N0.30. Forex traders transacted 206.65 million dollars at the official Investors and Exporters window on Tuesday.

In the CBN forex section, U.S. Dollar was sold at N415.6 by the apex bank to authorised dealers, slightly better than N415.64 it exchanged on Monday.

Against the Pounds Sterling, the Naira appreciated from N509.824 to N508.53. However, against the Euro common currency, the value of the Naira dropped from N433.05 on Monday to N439.5 on Tuesday.

Dollar to Naira Black Market Exchange Rate

Forex scarcity continued to drag on the Naira value in the unregulated foreign exchange market popularly known as the black market.

On Wednesday, the Naira was exchanged at N614 for a United States Dollar on the black market. Representing another decline of N7 from N607 it was sold two weeks ago.

According to traders in that section of forex, rising demand amid a chronic scarcity is responsible for the wide foreign exchange rate of the local currency and could worsen if developed economies plunge into recession as widely projected.

Inflow into emerging economies like Nigeria will drop, hence impeding the apex bank’s ability to service the economy.

Crude Oil

Crude oil extended its gains for four consecutive days on Wednesday after it became obvious that OPEC and its allies will not be able to meet their targets as projected.

Brent crude oil, the international benchmark for Nigerian oil, appreciated to $120 a barrel on Wednesday while the U.S West Texas Intermediate (WTI) rose from $99.33 per barrel a week ago to $112.37 per barrel.

According to Jeffrey Halley, Senior Market Analyst, Asia Pacific, OANDA, said “A surprise drop by US API Crude Inventories by 3.8 million barrels helped the bullish momentum, with markets ignoring the rise in refined product stocks. Disruptions to Libyan and Ecuadorian production were supportive, but the Macron’s remarks yesterday around Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s limited production capacity seems to have been the main driver.”

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