Kiwi crashes

It's that can again
Researchers have discovered that watching cat videos makes people "more energetic and more positive". The team at Indiana University also found them to have "fewer negative emotions, such as anxiety, annoyance and sadness". Euroland finance ministers will be forced to watch a cat video at the start of their meeting today.

Investors have just about abandoned any hope of an agreement with Greece emerging from the Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg. Some believe Athens has the cash to settle its €1.6bn bill with the IMF this month. Some predict capital controls to limit bank withdrawals. Some say a default by Greece would result in the country's ejection not only from the euro zone but from the EU itself. Everyone has a theory and nobody knows, not even the protagonists.

It is unlikely that the denouement will come today. Greece has until the end of the month to make its payment to the IMF: Neither side would benefit from pulling the trigger at this stage so investors expect the poor old can to get another kick down the road. Anticlimax is almost assured, as with yesterday's Federal Reserve monetary policy decision.

Wages not rates
As widely expected, the Fed left its Funds Rate unchanged yesterday. Investors reacted by selling the US dollar but it was not the weakest performer. A greater surprise was the acceleration in UK wage inflation. Investors reacted by buying sterling but it was not the top performer.

The UK employment data, which were decent enough in the round, included the surprise news that wages were up by 2.7% on the year. The pound shot higher. It was not the outright leader, having to concede first place to the Norwegian krone, but it strengthened by 0.7%.

The US dollar headed the other way, falling sharply after the Fed confirmed that it would be leaving its benchmark interest rate unchanged for the time being. The feeling is that a September increase is still on the cards but nobody is sure.

Kiwi clobbered
Today's ecostat agenda began with New Zealand's first quarter gross domestic product figures. They showed the economy expanding by just 0.2%, two thirds less than expected. Investors slammed the NZ dollar, knocking another two cents off its value.

The Kiwi was already on the retreat following the UK employment data. It ended up with a daily loss of -2.3%, making it the weakest performer for the month, the quarter and the year to date.

There are rate decision today from the central banks of Switzerland and Denmark. A relaxation of policy is possible from either. The only ecostats due before lunch are the UK retail sales data for May, which are forecast to show them flat on the month.The US inflation figure this afternoon will have been devalued slightly by yesterday's Fed announcement but if it is widely adrift from the forecast 0.2% it could affect the dollar. Listen out for the sound of that can being kicked.