Asia-Pacific markets may be set to experience a volatile week, with several potentially hard-hitting economic events on tap in the days ahead. That puts the risk-sensitive Australian and New Zealand Dollars in focus. Both weakened against the US Dollar last week even though the broad-based DXY index moved lower, which highlights the region's perceived risks.
Traders will be watching daily case counts and deaths with a keen eye. Domestically, the island nation has seen only two new cases over the last 48 hours, according to the Ministry of Health. Policymakers’ defensive stance on border travel will likely remain in place.
Later this week, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) will release its interest rate decision. The consensus expectation sees the central bank holding the Official Cash Rate (OCR) at 0.25%.
Overnight index swaps show markets are pricing in a 73% chance of a hike at the November meeting. That is up from 48% one week ago. Second-quarter inflation data will follow the policy meeting on the very next day. Markets expect the consumer price index (CPI) to rise 2.7% y/y, up from 1.5% in Q1.
The New Zealand Dollar is off to an upbeat start against the Greenback, with NZD/USD up 0.15% to start the week. The currency pair is testing a level of resistance turned support along with a descending trendline. Some confluent resistance from the downward-sloping 20-day Simple Moving Average (SMA) will need to be cleared before a push higher. The MACD oscillator shows a bullish bias as its MACD line tracks above the signal line.
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