The Australian dollar continues to gain ground and hit a two-month high earlier today. In the European session, AUD/USD is trading at 0.6756, up 0.85%.
RBA to limit forward guidance
The Reserve Bank of Australia minutes noted that the use of forward guidance had been useful during the Covid pandemic, but it would no longer remain a tool unless “appropriate”. The RBA said that rates “are not on a pre-set path” and it will determine the size and timing of future hikes based on incoming data and the outlook for inflation and employment.
The takeaway from the minutes is that the RBA will not always provide forward guidance on interest rates, as it wants the flexibility to determine rate policy based on incoming data rather than be tied to its guidance. The RBA has eased its tightening, with two straight hikes of 0.25%, and is signalling to the markets that it could pause its rate-hike cycle or resume oversize rates, depending on the data.
The RBA’s rate cycle has been steep, with 250 points in tightening since May. Despite this, inflation remains stubbornly high, and the RBA has revised upwards its inflation forecast for the end of 2022 to 8.0%, up from 7.8%. The central bank had expected inflation to slow to 3%, the top of its inflation target range, by December 2024, but that has been revised to 2025.
The Federal Reserve is also looking at easing its tightening, as the markets have priced in a 0.50% increase at the December meeting. Fed Vice Chair Brainard said on Monday that she favored slowing the pace of rate hikes, but that further hikes were required in order to bring down inflation. Brainard’s stance was echoed by Fed member Waller, as Fedspeak remains hawkish, despite the unbridled euphoria in the financial markets after last week’s soft US inflation report. The Fed remains committed to curbing inflation, and a dovish pivot would make its rate tightening less effective.
- AUD/USD is testing resistance at 0.6729. Above, there is resistance at 0.6821
- There is support at 0.6603 and 0.6490
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