Tuesday, 24 April, 2018

NZ dollar under pressure as greenback pushes higher

Fed's Yellen says gradual hikes should continue despite weak inflation Fed's Yellen says gradual hikes should continue despite weak inflation
Debra Rodriguez | 28 September, 2017, 00:38

USA gold futures for December delivery settled down $13.90, or 1.07 percent, at $1,287.80 per ounce.

"Given that monetary policy affects economic activity and inflation with a substantial lag, it would be imprudent to keep monetary policy on hold until inflation is back to 2%", she said.

Yellen said Tuesday she would be looking at inflation and labor market data closely in coming months to assess the outlook, but "the data is noisy and it's not going to be a magic bullet". If there was to be an interest rate hike confirmed in the US then the GBP/USD could comfortably move back into the low 1.30s.

-The Bloomberg Dollar Spot index gained 0.3 percent to the highest since August. On the eve of its unveiling, Trump said lawmakers should expect a "very, very powerful document" that would cut taxes "tremendously" for the middle class.

"People thought the economy was going to be soft here; we´re not clear on (what's happening in) Europe, inflation is missing in action and I think most people thought, 'The Fed may tighten once or twice and that´s it, '" he said. With the lower dollar, tax reform, oil restive, tightish labour market and reconstruction all set to boost the USA next year the USD is starting to swing. There has been optimism that the third forecast interest rate hike in the USA will go ahead in December and Yellen looks set to deliver her verdict.

The other key outside the market on Wednesday morning sees Nymex crude oil futures slightly lower after hitting a four-month high Tuesday.

-The MSCI Emerging Market index sank 0.8 percent to the lowest in more than a month. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 9.57 points, or 0.1%, to 6,380.16, recouping a fraction of losses from the previous session. Trump has praised Yellen since taking office, saying he approves of the Fed's current low interest rates and respects the chair. NAR said its pending home sales index plunged by 2.6% to 106.3 in August from 109.1 in July. In the absence of any major market moving news, investors took profits following the recent bout in the Pound that last week saw the currency rally to its strongest position since the Brexit vote.

USA officials emphasized the urgency of attempts at diplomacy to ease tensions with North Korea on Tuesday, while the US stepped up sanctions amid an escalating war of words between Washington and Pyongyang. The yen fell 0.5 percent to 112.82 per dollar and sterling lost 0.3 percent to $1.3420 against the resurgent greenback, picking up from as low as $1.3363.

Stocks opened higher and traded in positive territory for much of the day before running out of steam in the final hour.

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