Investors became steadily less nervous last week. They moved out of safe-haven currencies, notably the Japanese yen, and into shares and commodity-related currencies. That mood began to develop last Friday, when weaker-than-expected US employment data cast further doubt on an early interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve, and intensified as oil prices went up by 10%. Confidence improved further when the minutes of the Fed policy meeting showed no urgency to increase rates.
Among the major currencies the Australian dollar was the biggest beneficiary, helped by a Reserve Bank of Australia statement which failed to include the expected hint at further rate cuts. The Kiwi was not far behind, finding added support after the Global Dairy Trade index went up by 9.9%. Overall the NZ dollar strengthened by six and a half cents against sterling and by two and three quarter US cents.