The New Zealand Dollar outperformed in otherwise quiet overnight trade. The rally appeared to be catalyzed by the outcome of a bond auction, where the government sold NZ$200 million in 3 percent coupon bonds maturing in 2020. The bid-to-cover ratio, a measure of demand, fell to 2.84 compared with 5.05 at an auction of analogous paper in February.
The RBNZ raised interest rates in the interim and signaled further tightening is ahead. With that in mind, the drop in demand may suggest investors found the 3 percent coupon unattractive relative to where the benchmark rate is expected to move in the months ahead. This belies a resoundingly hawkish monetary policy outlook, which naturally bodes well for the Kiwi.
February’s UK Retail Sales report headlines the economic calendar in European hours. Receipts excluding automotive expenditures are expected to post a 2.9 percent year-on-year increase, marking the weakest result in three months. A soft print may not yield a lasting response from the British Pound however considering an analogous report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) telegraphed such a scenario two weeks ago.