New Zealand's Trade balance for February came out at NZD$ 306 Million which was higher than the NZD$ 230 Million estimates but lower than last month's revised figure of NZD$ 493 Million. Australia's Private Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) for 4Q-2013 posted a decline of -5.2% which was weaker than forecasts of -1.0%. Estimate #5 for 2013/14 came out slightly higher at AUD$ 167.1 Billion while Estimate #1 for 2014/15 posted a lower than expected AUD$ 124.9 Billion.
A sharp decline in mining investment coupled with a reticence by non-mining businesses to increase expenditure resulted in the weaker print. AUD/USD, which had been hovering around 0.8970 prior to the release, fell quickly to test support in the 0.8910/20 region before stabilizing a bit. The report, while underwhelming, does appear to be in line with the RBA's projections for the economy and underscores the fact that they are likely to maintain their neutral stance with regards to monetary policy for an extended period of time.