The NZD/CAD foreign money pair, which expresses the worth of the New Zealand greenback when it comes to the Canadian greenback, has pushed and pulled this 12 months, however finally NZD has lately discovered itself exactly again to the place it began the 12 months. On the time of writing, NZD/CAD trades on the 0.87 deal with, although lately the pair has been making decrease highs, and dangers registering a decrease low within the close to time period (beneath its August lows on the 0.86 deal with).
Each NZD and CAD are commodity currencies. It’s because New Zealand and Canada are each commodity exporters, and subsequently whereas these international locations’ present accounts are usually not often in surplus, their currencies are inclined to fluctuate in accordance with world commodity costs. When the worldwide economic system is performing nicely, and companies are booming on the again of supportive client sentiment, world commodity demand tends to even be larger than common. In consequence, NZD and CAD often discover help by advantage of this favorable financial backdrop.
Nonetheless, when financial sentiment wanes, NZD and CAD wrestle as risk-off strikes punish commodity currencies. As COVID-19 emerged, which finally created a widespread monetary disaster this 12 months for a lot of companies as client spending and enterprise funding floor to a halt, NZD and CAD offered off closely. Following important fiscal and financial interventions globally, threat sentiment has returned. But whereas equities might have subsequently reached all-time highs after crashing in Q1 2020, the financial after-effects of this 12 months’s disaster haven’t vanished. Uncertainty continues to be abound.
The query subsequently is, which foreign money is healthier positioned for the longer term; NZD or CAD? Whereas each share some core traits, New Zealand is a a lot smaller nation than Canada. As reported by the OEC, Canada’s annual GDP totaled US$1.71 trillion in 2018, whereas New Zealand‘s GDP totaled US$205 billion (about 12% of the quantity of Canada’s GDP). The OEC additionally analyzes financial complexity of countries; bigger nations with extra diversified industrial (and repair) bases have a tendency to attain extra extremely than the smaller, extra targeted economies. Canada ranks 25 out of 137, whereas New Zealand ranks at 49.
As a result of New Zealand is smaller, and its economic system much less subtle, NZD is usually a riskier foreign money to carry versus CAD (all else equal). This will probably be partly why the preliminary sell-off this 12 months favored NZD/CAD draw back. It additionally helps to clarify why the next rebound helped to help the NZD/CAD change price. Nonetheless, NZD/CAD additionally registered a considerably larger studying after its preliminary crash this 12 months. As proven within the chart at the start of this text, previous to the beginning of this 12 months NZD/CAD virtually hit the 0.88 deal with. In July this 12 months, NZD/CAD briefly hit the 0.90 deal with.
These larger highs have been enabled by two causes: firstly, decrease oil costs this 12 months (crude oil futures nonetheless commerce a couple of third decrease than late-2019 ranges) have supported New Zealand’s relative to phrases of commerce. Phrases of commerce indexes mirror actions within the ratio between international locations’ export and import costs (larger is extra favorable). New Zealand is a internet importer of crude oil merchandise, whereas Canada is a internet exporter. The adverse total change in crude oil costs this 12 months has undoubtedly favored NZD/CAD upside.
(Supply: Trading Economics. New Zealand phrases of commerce shot up this 12 months, whereas Canadian phrases of commerce has carried out the other.)
Fortuitously for Canada, nonetheless, oil costs have managed to rebound considerably off this 12 months’s lows. Subsequently, a lot of the collapse in Canadian phrases of commerce has now been retraced (as proven by the black, dotted line within the chart above).
One other change is the truth that threat sentiment has returned with power, supporting equities and different threat property, plus commodity currencies.
It’s worthy of observe that USD, a standard secure haven, has extra lately weakened significantly versus CAD. Subsequently, even CAD has strengthened considerably relative to this 12 months’s lows, though the weaker state of the oil markets this 12 months (a weaker state which persists) has meant that USD/CAD has solely fallen again to ranges seen in January 2020 (not but beneath). NZD/CAD has already managed to surpass its late-2019 excessive, as talked about beforehand.
One other issue is rates of interest. The Financial institution of Canada’s goal price has been slashed from +1.75% to only +0.25%, whereas New Zealand has reduce its price much less, from +1.00% to +0.25%. Nonetheless, it’s also necessary to have a look at inflation. The chart desk beneath makes use of inflation information for New Zealand (quarterly) and Canada (reported month-to-month) to regulate these international locations’ central financial institution charges to search out an implied actual yield (if we assume central financial institution charges finally feed into funding market charges efficiently).
This easy evaluation exhibits that the change is actually unfavorable for NZD/CAD. A drop of about 0.5% within the implied actual yield has occurred from the beginning of the 12 months to the tip of the second quarter. Canada’s more moderen month-to-month inflation information additionally signifies even decrease inflation at simply +10 foundation factors year-over-year.
Tourism can also be necessary to New Zealand; as I wrote recently, the tourism sector is liable for using about 20% of jobs within the nation. Tourism is an element to be involved with globally, however New Zealand is among the most uncovered. For Canada, tourism solely represents round 2% of GDP.
As COVID-19 restrictions proceed, and as we head into the winter months amidst a second wave of this illness, it’s unlikely that tourism will bounce again considerably within the short- to medium-term. In consequence, NZD is prone to wrestle to maintain its larger costs versus CAD. However, one other collapse in oil costs will surely assist to buoy the NZD/CAD price. Nonetheless, this isn’t a base case, and as of October 17, 2020 it seems that Russia and Saudi Arabia are actually on higher phrases with respect to oil diplomacy. If oil can no less than stay regular, even at these decrease ranges, NZD/CAD might be going to wrestle to maintain its present ranges.
One closing mannequin worthy of sharing is a Buying Energy Parity mannequin, which helps us to evaluate the possible honest values of foreign money pairs based mostly on the 2 currencies’ relative worldwide buying powers. I assemble the chart beneath utilizing the OECD’s PPP mannequin information, introducing higher and decrease bands which deviate from the rolling annual honest worth estimate by 30% (to contextualize highs and lows, and the present value).
NZD/CAD, since about 2014, seems to have traded pretty near the PPP-implied honest worth estimate. It’s however nonetheless most likely overvalued, which means that our total bias ought to be adverse. This may complement our findings that the implied actual yield for NZD/CAD has worsened this 12 months, whereas New Zealand additionally stays extra uncovered to the after-effects of COVID-19 (through tourism) offered that crude oil costs don’t sink materially over the medium time period. Since customers are much less prone to be afraid to journey these days, oil demand might be going to help present costs, and but diminished demand for worldwide journey might stay decrease for longer. This mix might actually drive NZD/CAD decrease over the medium time period.
I might maintain a bearish bias on NZD/CAD over the medium time period. An acceptable goal degree can be our PPP mannequin’s honest worth estimate (in 2019) on the 0.82 deal with.
Disclosure: I/now we have no positions in any shares talked about, and no plans to provoke any positions throughout the subsequent 72 hours. I wrote this text myself, and it expresses my very own opinions. I’m not receiving compensation for it (aside from from In search of Alpha). I’ve no enterprise relationship with any firm whose inventory is talked about on this article.