The New Zealand dollar continues to head higher this week. In the North American session, NZD/USD is trading at 0.7244, up 0.37% on the day. It has been a strong start to the week for the New Zealand dollar, which is up 0.95%.
The US dollar is once again struggling against the major currencies. Inflation surged in April, which led to speculation that the Fed might contemplate scaling back QE. This gave the US dollar a brief boost earlier in May, but the market appears to have accepted the Fed line that higher inflation is transitory and any tightening of policy is a while off. The Federal Reserve continues to send out a consistent, clear message to the market that its ultra-accommodative policy will continue and that will maintain current QE levels. With a tighter policy unlikely in the short term, the US dollar has become less attractive to investors.
RBNZ expected to hold the course
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand holds its policy meeting on Wednesday. New Zealand data has been strong, but there are concerns of reflation as the economy heats up. The central bank is expected to sound dovish, with no changes forecast in policy. Still, given the strength of the economic recovery, investors will be looking for any hints of potential tapering to QE, which would be bullish for the New Zealand dollar.
Westpac expects the RBNZ to upwardly revise its economic forecasts for 2021. It also is projecting that inflation will easily surpass 2 per cent this year, but adds that the RBNZ has anticipated this and will view higher inflation as transitory. We have seen this script with the Federal Reserve, which has dismissed a recent surge in inflation as merely temporary. Finally, Westpac does not expect the central bank to hike rates before 2024.
- NZD/USD is testing resistance at 0.7239. Above, there is resistance at 0.7314
- There is support at 0.7120 and 0.7076
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