Retail sales in New Zealand were up by 1.5% in the first quarter, more than the expected 0.9%, and the fortnightly GDT index of dairy prices rose 3.2%. Manufacturers' costs increased by 0.8% in Q1 while factory gate prices were up 1.4%, implying better profits for the industrial sector. Beyond that, investors did not have much to go on and the performance of the Kiwi was similar to that of its cousins in Australia and Canada. It strengthened by half a US cent and went up by a quarter of a cent against sterling.
All the commodity-oriented currencies were held back by concern that appetite for their exports would be dented by the US administration's inability to push ahead with the promised deregulation and tax cuts. Sterling did receive a short-lived boost from stronger-than-expected UK retail sales data. It soon afterwards had to give back its gains when investors took profits once they saw it above US$1.30.