Kiwi gains amid interest rate speculation
Posted on 01/24/19 6:23 PM
The New Zealand dollar gained on speculation the Reserve Bank will reiterate its projection for rising interest rates at this week’s review.
The kiwi rose to 85.13 US cents from 84.89 cents at 8am in Wellington and up from 85.01 cents at the New York close on Friday. The trade-weighted index rose to 79.36 from 79.11 on Friday.
The Reserve Bank is expected to raise the official cash rate a quarter point to 3.25 per cent when releasing the monetary policy statement on Thursday.
But there has been speculation it may soften the track of future hikes to the OCR, signalling borrowing costs don’t need to rise as much as it has flagged.
That leaves open a risk that governor Graeme Wheeler will reiterate the interest rate track given in March, stoking gains in market rates and the currency.
“Market pricing is quite a bit below where the RBNZ’s track is,” said Mark Johnson, senior client adviser at OMF. “The Reserve Bank is trying to prep the market for a normalisation of rates.”
Still, the central bank governor may also repeat his view that the kiwi dollar is unsustainably high and can’t keep appreciating.
Wheeler may be hoping the greenback eventually comes to their aid amid signs the US economy is recovering.
That was reinforced by US non-farm payrolls data on Friday that showed the world’s biggest economy added more than 200,000 jobs for the fourth straight month, helping drive stock benchmarks on Wall Street to a record close.
The New Zealand dollar was little changed at 91.01 Australian cents from 90.95 cents on Friday. Australian banks are closed for the Queen’s Birthday public holiday.
The local currency gained to 62.40 euro cents from 62.14 cents on Friday and edged up to 50.65 British pence from 50.48 pence. The kiwi rose to 87.29 yen from 86.83 yen on Friday.