In New Zealand:
- New Zealand dollar rebounds after awful week
- Services PMI crawls into expansion territory
- Inflation expected to almost double in third quarter
The New Zealand dollar has started the week with strong gains. In the European session, NZD/USD is trading at 0.5919, up 0.55%. It was a miserable week for the News Zealand dollar, which fell 1.74%, its worst weekly performance since August.
The driver for today’s gains was the New Zealand Services PMI, which rose to 50.7 in September, up from 47. 7 in August. This reading is barely in expansion territory, but it indicates a welcome rebound after three straight declines – the 50 level separates contraction from expansion.
As is the case with most major economies, the services sector is in better shape than manufacturing. Last week’s Manufacturing PMI weakened to 45.3 in September, down from 46.1 a month earlier. This marked a seventh straight decline and was the lowest reading since August 2021.
Inflation is still on everyone’s mind and continues to have a strong impact on the currency markets. This was reiterated last week with last Thursday’s US inflation report, which remained unchanged at 3.7% and was just above the market estimate of 3.6%. The release unnerved investors and sent risk appetite and risk currencies tumbling. The New Zealand dollar was steamrolled, sliding 1.54% on Thursday.
New Zealand will release third-quarter inflation on Tuesday. The market estimate stands at 2.0% q/q, which would be a sharp rise from the 1.1% gain in the second quarter. The sharp rise in gasoline prices is expected to boost inflation. Core CPI, which excludes energy prices, will be closely watched by the central bank and policy makers will be looking for a decline on Tuesday. If that doesn’t happen, expectations of a rate hike in November will likely rise.
- NZD/USD put pressure on resistance at 0.5942 earlier. The next resistance line is 0.5999
- There is support at 0.5888 and 0.5827
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