NZD/USD awaits Fed, GDP

Federal Reserve expected to hike by 50 bp

All eyes are on the Federal Reserve, which winds up its policy meeting later today. Policy makers are expected to raise rates by 50 basis points at this final meeting of 2022, with an outside chance of a more aggressive 75 basis point hike. This year has set a record for tightening, but despite that, the Fed stills finds itself in an uphill battle to convince the markets that it remains in a hawkish mode. The dramatic inflation report on Tuesday was softer than expected at 7.1%, once again raising risk appetite and sending the US dollar sharply lower.

Any drop in inflation is welcome news for the Fed, but let’s not forget that inflation is still more than three times the Fed target of 2%. The Fed has reiterated that it is committed to curbing inflation and has not given any indications of winding up the current tightening cycle, stating that it expects the terminal rate to be “somewhat higher” than anticipated in September. Despite this, speculation is growing that the Fed might deliver one more rate hike in February, perhaps by 25 bp, and then call it quits.

New Zealand releases fourth-quarter GDP later today, and the markets are bracing for a weak gain of 0.8% q/q. This follows the 1.2% gain in Q3, as the economy was boosted by the booming tourist trade as the border reopened. The New Zealand dollar has recovered nicely, gaining about 400 points against the US dollar since October 1st. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand will be on a long break, as the next policy meeting is not until February 22nd. We could see some volatility from NZD/USD in today’s North American session, with the Fed rate announcement and the New  Zealand GDP release.

NZD/USD Technical

  • 0.6472 is a weak resistance line. Above, there is resistance at 0.6591
  • There is support at 0.6388 and 0.6311

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Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Market Analyst at OANDA
A highly experienced financial market analyst with a focus on fundamental and macroeconomic analysis, Kenny Fisher’s daily commentary covers a broad range of markets including forex, equities and commodities. His work has been published in major online financial publications including, Seeking Alpha and FXStreet. Kenny has been a MarketPulse contributor since 2012.