Chart of the day - NZDUSD (22.02.2023)

11:38 am 22 February 2023

New Zealand dollar is the top performing G10 currency today. Strength of NZD is driven by the rate hike announced by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand earlier today. RBNZ delivered a 50 basis point rate hike. While the decision was in-line with expectations of most economists, there were some concerns that RBNZ may decide to slow the pace of tightening following a recent hit from cyclone Gabrielle. 

RBNZ Governor Orr said that there was barely any consideration for a 25 basis point rate hike as it is too early to determine impact of cyclone hit and that discussion was centered around a 50 bp rate move.  RBNZ Chief Economist said that cyclone hit boosts demand for labour but it is possible that the build-back programme will exert upward pressure on inflation. Minutes showed that discussion was whether to hike rates by 50 or by 75 basis points. Ultimately, the official cash rate was increased by 50 bp to 4.75% - the highest level since late-2022. Moreover, the peak rate forecast was confirmed at 5.5% and it is expected to be reached Q1 2024. Interestingly, the cash rate forecast for June 2023 was cut from 5.4 to around 5.15%. While RBNZ sees need for more tightening ahead, it should also be said that Governor Orr noted that the Bank is still expecting recession in New Zealand in a 9-12 months period.

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Taking a look at NZDUSD chart at D1 interval, we can see that the pair has recently pulled back and tested the lower limit of a trading range in the 0.6200 area. A 50 bp RBNZ rate hike today helped the pair bounce off the 0.62 handle and while initially it looked like a recovery move may be launched, gain started to be erased as USD regained ground.

Source: xStation5

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