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Case M


NZD has shown a muted reaction to below-forecast Chinese PMI data and NZ gov't's decision to impose a seven-day lockdown in Auckland as officials are investigating a new Covid-19 case in the community ("Case M"), which could not be immediately linked to other known cases. NZD/USD last trades +30 pips at $0.7264, correcting some of Friday's slump & hitting fresh session highs.

  • PM Ardern called an emergency cabinet meeting on Saturday and announced that Auckland's Covid alert level will be raised to 3, with the rest of the country moved to level 2. The mother of Case M has also tested positive for the virus, while PM Ardern confirmed that the new case visited multiple "high risk," "well-populated" locations after having his Covid-19 test and despite showing symptoms of the disease.
  • Since announcing a fresh lockdown, the authorities have managed to establish a link between Case M and previous cases, with PM Ardern noting that a member of their household visited a second home in an existing cluster during the latest lockdown.
  • Auckland Mayor Goff argued that NZ's largest city should be first in the queue for Covid-19 vaccines, as recent outbreaks suggest that it is at greater risk of community transmission.
  • Friday's 140 pip sell-off brought NZD/USD into close proximity to the 50-DMA, last at $0.7205. A break here would allow bears to set their sights on Feb 17 low of $0.7158. Conversely, bulls look to retake Feb 25 cycle high of $0.7465.
  • New Zealand's terms of trade & CoreLogic House Price Index will be released on Tuesday. Building permits & ANZ Commodity Price Index hit the wires on Wednesday, with completed construction work due Friday.
  • Elsewhere, NZ Tsy will publish the gov't's 7-month financial statements on Thursday.
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3806 |
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3806 |

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