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Forex

Kiwi Soars to One-Year High in Latest Snub to Central Bank Cuts

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Graeme Wheeler

New Zealand’s dollar surged to the highest since May 2015 after traders deemed the central bank’s decision to cut borrowing costs was insufficiently dovish amid the global ardor for yield spurred by unprecedented global monetary easing.

The kiwi climbed against all of its 16 major counterparts after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand cut its official rate to a record, aping the reaction of its Australian counterpart when officials there lowered borrowing costs earlier this month.

Some investors had been looking for a more aggressive easing signal from the central bank, which indicated it would cut rates at least once more to boost weak inflation. The U.S. dollar advanced against the euro after last week’s better-than-expected jobs data bolstered a view that the Federal Reserve is among few central banks in developed economies whose next policy move will be to tighten.

“The kiwi surged because some in the market were looking for a very aggressive easing from the RBNZ,” said Ned Rumpeltin, the European head of foreign exchange strategy at Toronto Dominion in London. “So, even as they cut rates by 25 basis points and delivered one of the clearest easing biases currently seen among major central banks, some walked away from today’s meeting disappointed.”

The RBNZ lowered its official cash rate by a quarter point to 2 percent and published bank-bill forecasts indicating just one more reduction was in the pipeline. All sixteen economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected the RBNZ to reduce by a quarter point. The futures market indicated on Wednesday that traders were certain of a reduction and even saw 20 percent odds for a 50 basis-point drop.

The RBNZ and the Reserve Bank of Australia prefer weaker currencies to stoke inflation back into their respective target bands. Two rate reductions by the Australian central bank since May and six by its antipodean neighbor in the past 14 months haven’t weakened exchange rates as their benchmark borrowing costs remain well above those of their peers, attracting foreign investment.

The kiwi climbed 0.6 percent to 72.49 U.S. cents as of 7:44 a.m. in New York, having jumped as much as 1.9 percent to 73.41 — the highest since May 2015 — after the RBNZ announcement. The Australian dollar rose 0.1 percent to 77.14 cents and is at levels not seen since before the May rate reduction.

“Australia and New Zealand yields remain attractive in a low-rate world,” said Jason Wong, a currency strategist at Bank of New Zealand in Wellington. “There’d still be upward pressure on the currencies even with rate cuts and that has been an ongoing theme since the start of the current-easing cycle. The U.S. outlook and in particular the prospect of Fed policy-tightening remains the key for the two currencies.”

After saying in his policy statement that a decline in the kiwi dollar “is needed,” Wheeler conceded in a news conference in Wellington that the RBNZ had “very limited influence” over the exchange rate. He also said he hadn’t given serious consideration to a half-point reduction because it wasn’t warranted and, in a “normal” situation, the RBNZ would probably be raising rates to cool the rampant housing market.

Australian 10-year bonds offer a 34 basis points yield spread over their U.S. equivalent, up from a low of 26 basis points Aug. 2. New Zealand 10-year bonds yielded 60 basis points more than similar American notes.

“Markets remain in strong yield-seeking mode,” said Robert Rennie, Westpac Banking Corp.’s global head of foreign-exchange and commodity strategy. “Both the Australian dollar and the New Zealand dollar appear well-supported for now.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Naira

Daily Naira Exchange Rates; Thursday, May 6, 2021

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Naira Exchange Rates - Investors King

Naira depreciated further at the parallel market on Thursday as the local currency traded at N485 to a United States Dollar. The Nigerian Naira exchanged at N676 to a British Pound and N585 to a Euro as shown below.

Naira Black Market Exchange Rates

Morning * Midday** Evening *** Final Rates

Date USD GBP EURO YUAN Canadian Australian
NGN BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL
06/05/2021 480/485 665/676 575/585 62/69 395/405 292/320

Bureau De Change Naira Rates

Date

USD

GBP

EURO

NGN

BUY/SELL

BUY/SELL

BUY/SELL

06/05/2021

475/482

663/676

575/587

06/05/2021

475/482

663/676

575/587

Central Bank of Nigeria’s Official Naira Rates

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Forex

CBN Extends N5/$ Incentive Period to Boost Dollar Inflow

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Godwin Emefiele - Investors King

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the N5 per US Dollar incentive on forex remittance indefinitely to boost liquidity and further deepen economic recovery.

The initiative was scheduled to end on May 8. It was introduced to encourage recipients of dollars to use formal banking channels and help the central bank capture such inflows to boost the stability of the local currency, which has been under pressure after oil prices plunged last year.

“We hereby announce the continuation of the scheme until further notice,” the regulator said in a statement on its website on Thursday.

The naira has been devalued three times since last year after a sharp drop in oil earnings, which accounts for 90% of foreign-exchange inflows, and remittances from workers abroad led to a dollar crunch in the West African nation, which produces the most crude in Africa. The local unit traded for 410.31 on the investors and exporters window, also called Nafex, as of 8:51 a.m. in Lagos.

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US Dollar

Dollar Falls as Risk Appetite Improves, Sterling Dips on BoE

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US Dollar - Investorsking.com

The dollar dropped to its lowest point in three days on Thursday as global market risk appetite improved, while sterling zig-zagged after the Bank of England slowed the pace of its bond-buying, but left interest rates unchanged.

Fewer Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, data showed, as COVID-19 vaccination efforts and massive amounts of government stimulus led to a further reopening of the economy.

While the U.S. economy has been gaining steam, Federal Reserve speakers on Wednesday downplayed the risks of higher inflation.

Those statements reinforced “the lower-for-longer mentality with regards to interest rates,” making the greenback less appealing, said Neil Jones, head of FX sales at Mizuho.

The safehaven U.S. dollar was last down 0.31% at 91.977 against a basket of peer currencies.

“What we’ve seen early in New York is a little bit of back-and-forth gyrations, just because of the Bank of England meeting,” said Erik Bregar, director and head of FX strategy at the Exchange Bank of Canada.

The Bank of England said it would slow the pace of its bond-buying as it sharply increased its forecast for Britain’s economic growth this year after its coronavirus slump, but it stressed it was not tightening monetary policy.

“They kept their QE target in place but they said they are going to reduce the weekly pace of purchases, but that’s not a signal and so sterling has kind of gone up and down and done nothing at the end of the day,” Bregar said.

The pound was last down 0.08% against the weaker dollar at $1.3900 .

The euro was up 0.47% versus the dollar at $1.2061 , and up 0.65% against the pound, at 86.88 pence per euro.

Investors were also paying attention to elections in Scotland that could herald a political showdown over a new independence referendum.

The Australian dollar fell sharply overnight when China said it would stop its economic dialogue with Australia, but the currency had recovered to trade close to flat on the day as European markets opened.

The Aussie was up 0.1% versus the U.S. dollar at 0.77515 at 1028 GMT, having hit as low of 0.7701 overnight.

The New Zealand dollar also dropped and was down 0.1% on the day.

“The announcements of the formal suspension of the economic dialogue between China and Australia should not have a lasting impact on markets given the already strained relationship between the two ahead of the event,” wrote ING strategists in a note to clients.

The Canadian dollar hit a three-and-a-half year high, helped by oil price gains and the Bank of Canada’s recent shift to more hawkish guidance.

In cryptocurrencies, ether traded around $3,500 after reaching a record high of $3,559.97 on Tuesday, skyrocketing nearly 800% this month.

Bitcoin declined 0.2% to $57,392.75.

The meme-based virtual currency Dogecoin soared on Wednesday to an all-time high, extending its 2021 rally to become the fourth-biggest digital coin.

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