The New Zealand dollar has started the week in positive territory. In the North American session, NZD/USD is trading at 0.6357, up 0.76%.
Will NZ inflation expectations keep rising?
It has been a long break for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, which last met in November. At the meeting, the central bank delivered a record 75-basis point hike, bringing the cash rate to 4.25%. The rate statement noted that the cash rate would have to rise higher and faster than previously expected in order to curb inflation. The RBNZ holds its next meeting on Feb. 22, with inflation now falling in most major economies. This makes Tuesday’s Inflation Expectations release critical, as it is the final tier-1 release ahead of the rate meeting. Inflation Expectations rose to 3.6% in Q4, up from 3.0% in Q1 and the RBNZ will be watching closely, as the reading could signal in which direction inflation is headed. This could mean significant volatility for the New Zealand dollar after this release.
Inflation will also be the buzz-word on Tuesday in the US, with the release of the January inflation report. Inflation is projected to fall to 6.2%, down from 6.5%, but there is unease in the markets that inflation could be hotter than expected, as used car prices and energy prices climbed higher in January. If inflation is indeed higher than expected, the markets could fully price in two rate hikes of 25 basis points and remain uncertain about a third hike. This would be a huge shift from recent market thinking, which is that the Fed could hold rates after a 25-bp hike in March and cut rates late in the year. The US dollar has taken strong hits after recent inflation releases were softer than the forecast. If tomorrow’s release is higher than expected, it could be payback time and the US dollar could post gains.
- 0.6375 is under pressure in resistance. Above, there is resistance at 0.6442
- There is support at 0.6323 and 0.6256
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