Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


NZ Dollar Outlook: Kiwi may gain as interest rate hikes loom

NZ Dollar Outlook: Kiwi may gain as interest rate hikes loom

By Tina Morrison

March 10 (BusinessDesk) – The New Zealand dollar may rise in volatile trading this week as investors are lured by better yields ahead of an expected hike in interest rates by the Reserve Bank and the prospect of further increases.

The kiwi may trade between 82.75 US cents and 86.35 cents this week, according to a BusinessDesk survey of 11 traders and strategists. Five expect the currency to advance while four forecast a drop and two expect little change. The kiwi recently traded at 84.65 US cents, from 84.38 cents at 8am.

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler is expected on Thursday to start on a path of continuing rate increases amid concern that inflation will accelerate as the economy gains momentum. Still, this week’s hike is already priced in to markets and traders will be more focused on the outlook for future rate rises and how concerned the bank is about the elevated local currency.

“It’s priced in but you may still get a spike on the day,” said Tim Kelleher, ASB Bank head of institutional FX sales in New Zealand. “I’m wary about how bearish or hawkish some of the banks are on their rate forecasts.”

The central bank won’t want to hike rates so far as to “crush” the economy and will also be cognisant of the higher currency, Kelleher said.

Governor Wheeler will raise the official cash rate a quarter point to 2.75 percent, according to 15 of 17 economists in a Reuters survey. Of the two outsiders, one expects a 50 basis points rise this week while the other says the bank will likely wait till June to hike.

The Reserve Bank has held the cash rate at a record low 2.5 percent since March 2011, a move similar to most of the world's major central banks seeking to stimulate economic growth after the global financial crisis froze credit markets.

Given the rate hike is widely anticipated, most traders will be focused on the central bank’s forecasts for future rate movements. Economists polled by Reuters expect the benchmark rate will be at 3.75 percent by March next year.

Geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and uncertainty about Chinese growth may weigh on the kiwi this week, traders said.

Also scheduled for release in New Zealand this week are February data on house prices, electronic card spending, food prices and manufacturing.

The Real Estate Institute house price index tomorrow will be watched for signs of weakness after the January data suggested price momentum faltering, perhaps reflecting restrictions on high debt mortgage lending.

Electronic card transaction data is also due tomorrow while the food price index is due Thursday. On Friday, the BNZ-BusinessNZ PMI is expected to show continued strength in manufacturing.

In Australia this week, the February NAB business confidence survey tomorrow may show continued strength after improving the previous two months although the Westpac-MI consumer sentiment survey the following day may decline on concern about the economic outlook and jobs.

Thursday’s Australian employment data may show a bounce in February following weakness while the unemployment rate remains at 6 percent.

Traders will keep an eye on a speech by Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor Philip Lowe in Sydney on demographics, productivity and innovation on Wednesday night, in a session open to media questions.

Elsewhere this week, the US February retail sales data on Thursday may lift after weakness.

Meanwhile, central banks in Japan, Korea and Indonesia are expected to keep the status quo while Thailand may cut rates by 25 basis points to support the economy amid political turmoil, according to Moody’s Analytics.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: Govt Resisting Pressure To Pump More Cash Into Solid Energy

Prime Minister John Key says it is “not the government’s preferred option” to make a fresh capital injection into the troubled state-owned coal miner, Solid Energy, but dodged journalists’ questions at his weekly press conference on whether that might prove necessary... More>>

ALSO:

Lagest Ever Privacy Breach Award: NZCU Baywide Accepts “Severe” Censure In Cake Case

NZCU Baywide says that once it was found to have committed a breach of a former staff member’s privacy, it had attempted to resolve the matter... the censure and remedies for its actions taken almost three years ago are “severe” but accepted, and will hopefully draw a line under the matter. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: PayPal Stops Processing Mega Payments; NZX Listing Still On

PayPal has ceased processing payments for Mega, the file storage and encryption firm looking to join the New Zealand stock market via a reverse listing of TRS Investments, amid claims it is not a legitimate cloud storage service. More>>

ALSO:

Housing Policy: Auckland Densification As Popular As Ebola, English Says

Finance Minister Bill English said calls by the Reserve Bank Governor for more densification in Auckland’s housing were “about as popular in parts of Auckland as Ebola” would be. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: NZ Government Deficit Smaller Than Expected In First Half

The New Zealand government's operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first six months of the financial year, as the consumption and corporate tax take rose ahead of forecast in December, having lagged estimates in previous months. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news