New Zealand inflation hits NZD as AUD rallies on RBA
- New Zealand inflation weakens: The prospects of further rate hikes have reduced
- A change in structure for the RBA: Monetary policy decisions will now be more independent
- NZD weakens, AUD positive: The NZD is underperforming major forex whilst the AUD is stronger.
- Risk appetite is cautious in equities: European indices have opened mixed, US futures are lower
- Caution also in metals and oil: In commodities, gold is positive with silver weaker, oil continues to fall back.
A focus on the antipodean currencies
Major forex continues in its state of choppy caution today.
However, there is news from “down under” which is driving moves on the NZD and AUD today:
- New Zealand inflation was lower than expected in Q1
- The Reserve Bank of Australia is to change the way its monetary policy decisions are made
Lower NZ inflation reduces the likelihood of further hikes
There has been a sharp decline in New Zealand inflation in the first quarter of 2023.
Inflation has dropped to 6.7% (from 7.2% in Q4 2022).
This was much lower than the small decline to 7.1% that had been forecast.
The move was driven in the main by food price inflation (which is a theme in many countries).
Vegetables were up 22%, with cheese +9.7% and eggs up 15%.
However, pulling prices down was the decline in petrol prices, which were down -8.3% in the 12 months to March 2023.
However, interestingly, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand had been expecting a move higher to 7.3%.
After the larger-than-expected 50bps hike in the latest meeting, this now questions whether there will be too much room for further hikes above the current 5.25%.
The prospects are that one final rate hike to 5.50% could be seen in May.
A change of the structure at the Reserve Bank of Australia
The RBA has announced that it is reformating the way it makes its monetary policy decisions.
A new Monetary Policy Board (MPB) will be set up.
- This new board will consist of nine members including the RBA Governor (currently Phillip Lowe) but crucially six external and independent members. This will reduce the power that the governor has in decisions
- Policy decisions will also now be 8 per year, instead of the current 11.
Markets seem to be fairly sanguine on this decision, with the AUD outperforming (albeit marginally) major forex this morning.
NZD weakens, AUD supported
The big mover today in major forex today is the weakness of the NZD.
The AUD is holding up relatively well amid broader cautious trading sentiment.
The kiwi has been ranging against the USD since November.
However, a recent strengthening of the USD alongside today’s downside in the NZD means that there could now be a test of the range lows ahead for NZD/USD.
After a big bearish rejection of a rally to 0.6315 the negative candles are racking up.
- Near term support at 0.6140/0.6165 is being pressured.
- Deteriorating moving averages suggest a negative outlook.
- This also comes with the RSI beginning to show a deteriorating bias too.
A close under 0.6140 would suggest a test of the big multi-month support band 0.6065/0.6085.
The initial resistance is at 0.6225.
The AUD is also ranging with the USD (over a shorter two-month period). However, the outlook is increasingly more stable.
Resistance has formed with the rejection of a rally to 0.6805, however, technical indicators are more steady.
- Daily candlesticks are mixed to slightly positive in recent sessions.
- The daily RSI is hovering around 50 in a neutral configuration.
The near-term support at 0.6680 needs to hold to sustain this neutral outlook within the trading range.
A move back above 0.6747 would open the 0.6805 resistance once more.
The real move is happening in the AUD/NZD cross.
Strong bull candles have been accelerating the price higher.
- The resistance at 1.0892 is now being tested, with a close above being another barrier removed in the recovery.
- Momentum is strong with the RSI into the mid-60s, but also with upside potential.
With the move this morning, there is a higher low at 1.0810 as initial support.
Beyond 1.0892 the next resistance is at 1.0947.
Support and resistance levels for Forex, Commodities, and Futures/Indices
|Brent Crude Oil
|S&P 500 futures
|FTSE 100 Index
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