The NZD received a welcome boost yesterday morning on the back of a stronger-than-expected retail sales report. The NZDUSD rate broke up through 0.6700 following the data release which showed retail sales increased by 1.1% in Q2, well ahead of the forecast 0.3% result. Q1 sales were also upwardly revised from a previously reported 0.1% increase to 0.3%. This morning the Federal Reserve released minutes from its July 31-Aug. 1 meeting. The minutes offered few surprises and thus far there has been little market reaction to the minutes. Fed officials noted that it would "likely soon be appropriate to take another step in removing policy accommodation," all but confirming that the Fed are on track to hike rates for the third time this year at the September meeting. Officials observed that ongoing global trade tensions pose the biggest threat to US economic growth, noting that an escalation or Prolonged trade dispute would have “adverse effects on business sentiment, investment spending, and employment." Earlier this morning the National Association of Realtors reported existing home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly decreased in the month of July. The report showed sales fell by 0.7% in July following on from June’s 0.6% fall. Economists had expected existing home sales to increase by 0.6%. Crude oil prices surged higher after the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported crude oil inventories decreased by 5.17m barrels far more that the expected 1.497m barrel fall. Global equity markets are mixed , - Dow -0.31%, S&P 500 -0.03%, FTSE +0.11%, DAX +0.01%, CAC +0.22%, Nikkei +0.64%, Shanghai -0.70%. Gold prices are little changed, trading at $1,195 an ounce WTI Crude Oil prices have surged higher, up 2.5% trading at $67.54 a barrel.
UPCOMING DATA RELEASES (NZST): - no local data today
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