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New Zealand Dollar May Rise as RBNZ Opts to Keep Rates on Hold

New Zealand Dollar May Rise as RBNZ Opts to Keep Rates on Hold

David de Ferranti, Currency Analyst

THE TAKEAWAY: The New Zealand Dollar may rise as the RBNZ opts to keep interest rates on hold despite a string of weaker economic data as inflation expectations hold on-target.

The RBNZ is widely expected to keep rates on hold at tomorrow’s policy meeting, with swaps markets pricing in only a 15% chance of a 25 basis point cut. Forex traders will be looking at the commentary from Reserve Bank Governor Wheeler as to whether there may be some scope for easing in 2013. A surprise cut or particularly dovish comments are likely to be negative for the New Zealand Dollar. However, with inflation expectations near the midpoint of the Bank’s 1-3 percent target range, we are unlikely to see hints of monetary easing in the near term. On balance, this is likely to be supportive for the Kiwi.

NZD/USD rallied following the central bank’s October decision to keep rates on hold at 2.5%. While the policy statement appeared to carry no rhetoric overtly supporting the case for added stimulus in the immediate term, a string of worse-than-expected economic data since then has raised the possibility the central bank may be compelled to act. Notably, unemployment hit the highest level in over a decade at 7.3% for the June quarter.

However, the Bank’s focus on medium-term inflation trends (over a period of about 2-3 years forward) means they are unlikely to be driven to action as long as price-growth expectations remain reasonably anchored. The latest reading from the RBNZ’s own two-year inflation outlook gauge printed at 2.3 percent, pointing to a lack of urgency on monetary stimulus.

AUDNZD – Daily Chart

Prices are consolidating above rising channel support set from October’s swing low, now at 1.2668. A close below that is needed for confirmation of a downward reversal. The first major layer of near-term resistance is at 1.2770, marked by the 23.6% Fibonacci expansion.

New_Zealand_Dollar_May_Rise_as_RBNZ_Opts_to_Keep_Rates_on_Hold_body_Picture_5.png, New Zealand Dollar May Rise as RBNZ Opts to Keep Rates on Hold

Created using FXCM Marketscope - Prepared by David de Ferranti

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