THE TAKEAWAY: 1Q Consumer Prices Rose 0.5% since 4Q 2011 > Traders Unfazed on News of Expected Figure > NZDSD Traded Sideways
Data released by Statistics New Zealand showed that the country’s consumer prices increased 0.5 percent since the previous quarter and 1.6 percent since the same time last year. Previously, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell by 0.3 percent during 4Q 2011 while the yearly (YoY) figure gained 1.8 percent.
Analysts expected a 0.5 percent rise for the quarter (QoQ) and a 1.6 percent rise YoY. In face of a decreasingly hawkish Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), traders were looking to see how this quarter’s CPI data would affect the likelihood of the central bank cutting rates next week. A higher-than-expected CPI would diminish odds of an interest rate hike while data falling short of expectations would enhance those odds. Prior to the report’s release, markets expected a 4.0 percent probability that the RBNZ would cut its key interest rate by 25 basis points.
Since the price figure met expectations, unfazed traders maintained their Kiwi positions. In the moments following the data release, NZDUSD initially fell from 0.8159 to .8151, but quickly regained those losses and continued trading sideways.