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New Zealand Dollar Gains on Stronger Trade Numbers

New Zealand Dollar Gains on Stronger Trade Numbers

David Cottle, Analyst

Talking Points:

  • The New Zealand Dollar rose after December's trade figures came in much stronger than expected
  • For 2016 as a whole, trade values were down on 2015
  • Buy that had been a record year for crucial meat exports

The New Zealand Dollar got a lift early in the Asia/Pacific market session on Monday following a stronger than expected set of trade data from its home economy.

December’s overall trade balance was a deficit of NZ$41 million (US$29.78 million), seasonally adjusted, according to Statistics New Zealand. This was far better than the NZ$98 million short-fall expected, and November’s NZ$705 million gap. Both exports and imports beat expectations on the month, coming in at NZ$4.38 and NZ$4.42, respectively.

For all of 2016, there was a trade deficit of NZ$3.2 billion. This is just below 2015’s NZ$3.5 billion, but that was the largest since 2008. New Zealand’s top two export commodities are dairy products and meat. Both fell in value in 2016. However, the statistics agency pointed out that 2015 had been a record season for both the value and quantity of meat exports. In other words, it was always going to be a tough year to beat.

The total value of imported goods was NZ$51.6 billion in 2016, down NZ$883 million from 2015. Total export goods value was NZ$47.4 billion, down NZ$544 million.

Investors seemed happy enough with the figures, at least as far as NZD/USD was concerned. That got as high as 0.72800 after the data, above 0.72650 just before. The US Dollar was already under a bit of pressure however, thanks to weaker-than-expected US growth and durable goods order data released late last week. Further, a holiday in New Zealand has probably thinned out liquidity so follow-through may be a bit suspect.

Trading higher: NZD/USD

New Zealand Dollar Gains on Stronger Trade Numbers

Chart compiled using TradingView

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--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

Contact and follow David on Twitter:@DavidCottleFX

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.