New Zealand Dollar Lifted Higher vs. U.S. Dollar by FOMC Meeting Minutes

The New Zealand dollar hit a 5-day high vs. the greenback of 0.71992 on Wednesday. The NZD/USD currency pair gained 0.71% in the hours following the release of the Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee at 2:00 p.m. EST.

Key highlights from the FOMC meeting in January:

-Economic conditions and labour markets continued to strengthen in last quarter of 2016.
-Unemployment rate is near recent lows.
-Household spending rises moderately.
-Inflation has increased over the last few quarters, but still remains below 2% target.
-Market participants feel uncertain about fiscal and regulatory policies.
-Emerging market currencies remain strong as investors see improving economic growth.
-Real Q4 GDP expanded at a “moderate rate.”
-Unemployment rate for African Americans and for Hispanics remained above the rate for whites.
-Consumer spending on vehicles increased considerably in Q4 of 2016.
-Sales of existing homes “increased modestly,” but new home sales dropped.
-Foreign real GDP showed decrease in the last quarter.
-Economic growth in the UK and the EU continues at “solid” pace.
-China economic growth rate is steady, but a slowdown is observed in Asian emerging economies and Mexico.
-Domestic financial conditions remain little changed since previous meeting.
-Markets estimate 70 percent probability of the next interest rate increase to take place before FOMC's June meeting.
-Equities remained at elevated levels as market participants forecast increased corporate profits due to new policies.

The FOMC meeting minutes provided sufficient momentum to lift the NZD/USD exchange rate above the key technical area between 0.7170 to 0.7175, which has been viewed by market participants as an important barrier.

However, there wasn’t enough buyers to vault the pair above 0.72 mark.

NZD Flag photo by Ronnie Macdonald

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