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  • Forex today was a mixed bag of  price action, although the downside continues to roll out in commodity-FX, despite the RBA’s steady hand.

The RBA  unexpectedly remained on hold yesterday but the trade war risks kept the bulls at bay and the downside has once again been exposed with a fierce rejection at the midpoint of the 0.70 handle. All eyes today will be on China’s trade balance ad the RBNZ, but breaking down the events from overnight, the US JOLTS survey  rebounded strongly in March (by 346k to 7.49mn) while  the GDT dairy auction gave little to work with, (little changed (+0.4%)).

Moving from data, it was ears to the ground for the sounds of trade-war drums. Initially, speculation that negotiations would break down due to Us officials announcing  tariff increases on Chinese imports that will kick in later this week,  US tech stocks were hit hard with safe-haven demand pushing treasury yields lower. The US 10yr treasury yield dropped  from 2.50% to 2.45% – a six-week low, while the 2yr yield fell from 2.31% to 2.27%.  

Currency action

However, there was a late session turn around and a mean reversion in U.S. benchmarks that helped buoy the yen pairs with AUD/JPY resurfacing  from 77.12 to 77.36 (still well off the RBA steady hand 78 handle highs). USD/JPY fell from 110.80 to 110.17  but steadied into the close at 110.32. AUD/USD firmed from the 0.6980 lows to a 0.7011 close.

The Kiwi was in focus with the RBNZ later today. Analysts at ANZ explained:

  • Kiwi followed AUD higher following the RBA’s hold decision yesterday, but the risk-off tone in global markets overnight has seen this more than fully unwind. Markets now await direction from today’s RBNZ decision. We’re expecting a dovish hold. And that should be enough to maintain the bulk of NZD depreciation that’s occurred since the March Review.
  • Support 0.6570 Resistance 0.6680.

As for European currencies, analysts at Westpac summarised the Brexit noise:

  • UK cross-party Brexit talks are still unable to find any consensus to end the current impasse. Although UK is confirming that it will hold EU elections on 13rd May, the PM’s office now hopes to find support for a withdrawal agreement in advance of the EU Parliament convening in early July. This would avoid protest votes and disruptive UK MPs taking their seats, and also signal the timing for May stepping down as PM. GBP/USD trimmed its daily loss to around 20 pips in NY, at 1.3070.
  • EUR/USD fell from 1.1215 to 1.1165 then edged back to 1.1190, little changed over the day.  

Key notes from U.S. session:

  • S&P500 technical analysis: Stocks on a rollercoaster settle below 2,900.00 figure

Key events ahead:  

Analysts at Westpac highlight the key events as follows:

  • The RBNZ Monetary Policy Statement at 2pm Syd/12pm Sing/HK) could deliver an OCR cut, from 1.75% to 1.50%, but it’s a close call. Markets and analysts are evenly divided on the prospect. Absent a cut, the RBNZ’s OCR forecast is likely to be reduced.

  • China exports rebounded sharply in March, to 14.2%yr while imports were soft, producing a trade surplus around $32bn. The median forecast for April is +3%yr on exports and -2%yr on imports for a surplus around $35bn. No set time is listed for the release.