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  • NZD/USD consolidates in Asia as traders await the outcome of this weekend’s G20.
  • Global PMIs will be in focus, first evidence of how COVID-19 has impacted manufacturing and services.

NZD/USD has moved back into an area of support for which bulls will be looking for a test of the supply commitments from the bears, with a target of the 0.65 handle should the US dollar finally give back some ground. Asia’s mixed equity mood turned to notable losses in Europe and the US, despite the lengths at which the People’s Bank of China have gone to try and stem risks to the economy – Asian currencies fell across the board and the bird was caught in the cross-fire of stubbornly firm US flows.

The price of NZD/USD has moved into a phase of consolidation around 0.6330 and within a narrow Asian range of between 0.6329 and 0.6334 as traders awaited to hear from Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s Governor Orr who is currently speaking at a lunch in Christchurch about last week’s Monetary Policy Statement.

  • RBNZ Orr: In favourable position with OCR at 1%

There has not been a reaction to the speech with the divergence between the Federal Reserve and RBNZ priced in following plenty of attention to the antipodes this month following their recent interest rate decisions. Despite the upgrade to Gross Domestic Product and other central forecasts in light of the current risks were initially seen as bullish for NZD, however, with coronavirus risks lurking and the scope for forecasts to become redundant fairly quickly, bars have pounded in the vulnerability of the bird. The relentless bid in the US dollar has been an additional factor weighing in on the price. 

Another day, another dollar. USD strength continued overnight and a test of key NZD support around 0.63 is in sight. A combination of strong US data and anxiety over COVID-19 are supporting this purple patch for the USD. Whilst we are cognisant of market positioning, there seems little that can turn the USD’s trend around just now. 

Greenback eyes the 100 handle up and down

Its been quite the run for DXY bulls of late, with the price bursting through levels on the 99 handle to ts the bear commitments around the April 2017. The FXStreet Senior Analysts have been discussing the state of play and the events which have propelled the greenback trough critical resistance levels at the start of this year. Follow the discussing here: US Dollar Strength: About more than the coronavirus’ contagion

In the US session, the US dollar got a boost with the Philadelphia Fed business survey surged from 17.0 in Jan to 36.7 in Feb (vs 11.0 expected). “Producer sentiment has been boosted by the US trade deals and reduced Brexit uncertainty, though it seems strange that February was the second-strongest month since 2014,” noted analysts at Westpac.

Fed Vice Chair Clarida said in a CNBC interview that it’s a “good picture” for the economy, with strong economic fundamentals and accommodative monetary policy. He noted the strength in the regional surveys, including the Philly Fed, and said a rebound in business investment is possible. The Fed is closely monitoring the coronavirus which is expected to have a noticeable impact on the Chinese economy, but it’s too soon to say what it will mean for the US.

End of the week, what to expect? 

For the close to the week, we have an insight from futures pointing to a little changed open for Japanese stocks, while shares in Australia slipped in early trade. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 23,485 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 23,500. That compared against the Nikkei 225′s last close at 23,479.15. Meanwhile, shares in Australia were lower in early trade, with the S&P/ASX 200 down 0.14%.

There are key data risks yet still to come ahead of the G20 finance ministers and central bankers meet in Saudi Arabia over the weekend amid continued uncertainty about the impact of the coronavirus, known as COVID-19.

We will have Markit February PMIs will be released for Japan, the Euro Area, the UK and the US as the first evidence of how COVID-19 has impacted manufacturing and services. “The outbreak is likely to affect Asia’s economy immediately but will take time to pass to Europe and the US. The Eurozone PMIs are most market-sensitive. The Jan Germany manufacturing PMI as a dismal 45.3 but services a strong 54.2,” the analysts at Westpac noted. 

Meanwhile, we will have the G20 finance ministers and central bankers meet in Saudi Arabia over the weekend amid continued uncertainty about the impact of the coronavirus, known as COVID-19. This follows the IMF saying on Wednesday, in a note prepared for G20 finance ministers and central bankers, where it mapped out a plethora of risks facing the global economy, that it was sticking to its January forecast for 3.3% growth in the global economy this year, up from 2.9% in 2019, already a downward revision of 0.1 percentage points from its forecast in October.

NZD/USD levels