NZD/USD – Kiwi falls to 6-month low as RBNZ slices rates

The New Zealand dollar remains under pressure, as pair has dropped close to 1.0% since Monday. In Wednesday’s North American session, NZD/USD is trading at 0.6587, down 0.21% on the day. On the release front, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand surprised the markets, cutting the benchmark rate from 1.75% to 1.50%. There are no major events in the U.S. on the calendar. On Thursday, the U.S. releases producer price index reports and unemployment claims.

After Australia’s central bank defied expectations on Wednesday and maintained interest rates, the RBNZ followed suit and unexpectedly cut the benchmark rate by 25 basis points. This marked the first rate cut since November 2016, and has added to the pressure on the New Zealand dollar. Earlier on Wednesday, NZD/USD touched a low of 0.6527, its lowest level since the end of October. The RNBZ issued a dovish rate statement, saying that the rate cut was necessary to boost employment and inflation forecasts. Rate-setters noted the uncertainty over the global economy and that both global and domestic growth had slowed since mid-2018, dampening New Zealand’s economy. The statement added that the rate cut “provides a more balanced outlook for interest rates”.

Adding to the kiwi’s troubles this week is the escalation in trade tensions between China and the U.S. On Sunday, U.S President Trump said that the U.S. would raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods as early as Friday, from 10% to 25%. Chinese officials had said it would cancel the talks, but this turned out to be an empty threat. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is scheduled to lead a Chinese delegation to Washington. Will the new U.S. tariffs be rescinded? Treasury Secretary Steve Munchin said that the tariffs could be cancelled when the talks resume. Such a move would kick-start risk appetite,which would be good news for the New Zealand dollar.

Kiwi tumbles as RBNZ cuts rates

Tariff-geddon taxes global markets

NZD/USD Fundamentals

Tuesday (May 7)

  • 22:00 RBNZ Official Cash Rate. Estimate 1.75%. Actual 1.50%
  • 22:00 RBNZ Rate Statement
  • 22:00 RBNZ Press Conference

Wednesday (May 8)

  • 8:30 US FOMC Member Brainard Speaks
  • 10:30 US Crude Oil Inventories
  • 13:01 US 10-year Bond Auction

Thursday (May 9)

  • 8:30 US PPI. Estimate 0.2%.
  • 8:30 US Core PPI. Estimate 0.2%.
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 215K

*All release times are DST

*Key events are in bold

NZD/USD for Wednesday, May 8, 2019

NZD/USD May 8 at 10:30 DST

Open: 0.6600 Low: 0.6604 High: 0.6526 Close: 0.6587

NZD/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
0.6348 0.6424 0.6539 0.6607 0.6699 0.6793

NZD/USD posted considerable losses in the Asian session. The pair edged higher in European trade and is flat in the North American session

  • 0.6539 is providing support
  • 0.6607 is a weak resistance line
  • Current range: 0.6539 to 0.6607

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 0.6539, 0.6424 and 0.6348
  • Above: 0.6607, 0.6699, and 0.6793

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Kenny Fisher joined OANDA in 2012 as a Currency Analyst. Kenny writes a daily column about current economic and political developments affecting the major currency pairs, with a focus on fundamental analysis. Kenny began his career in forex at Bendix Foreign Exchange in Toronto, where he worked as a Corporate Account Manager for over seven years.