The Australian and New Zealand dollars continued their rallies on Friday and finished off the week strong against sterling due to positive Australian retail sales figures released overnight Thursday. At 0.3%, this was an improvement over the previous figure of 0.0%. There was no significant data released for the remaining of Friday, but the price of oil rose after increased US employment gave further momentum to rising prices which did have a positive effect for both the commodity linked currencies.
Today we could see some movement as New Zealand is expected to release manufacturing sales data, while Reserve Bank of Australia Deputy Governor Lowe is expected to speak, which should give an indication of the level of growth within the Australian economy. On Wednesday, the central banks of New Zealand and Canada make their interest rate announcements with the expectation that interest rates will be kept on hold.
There is a whole range of data out of China. Imports are expected to show a contraction of 10% for February year on year, better than the 19% seen in January. Highlights the effect of commodity prices on Chinese imports and the rebound in commodity prices in February. Exports will be going the other direction though as they are expected to show contraction of 15% in February compared to 12% in January year on year. This highlights the problems in the world economy. These figures will be announced on Tuesday.
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