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Thursday July 29, 2010 - 05:15:54 GMT
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RBNZ Set to Hike Benchmark Rate

The New Zealand Dollar fell for the second consecutive day following Monday’s bearish closing price reversal top formation. Wednesday’s decline was blamed on a drop in business confidence, but some traders attribute the weakness to position squaring ahead of tonight’s interest rate decision by the central bank.


Over the short-run speculators have been driving by the Kiwi in anticipation of a hike in the key borrowing rate. Traders are looking for a quarter-point hike to 3 percent. The weakness in the Australian inflation rate is not expected to have an affect on the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s decision. Recent economic data suggests that worries about inflation getting out of control are strong enough to warrant a rate hike at this time.


Overnight Australia reported a lower than expected rise in its Consumer Price Index. This is a strong indication that the Reserve Bank of Australia is going to refrain from hiking its benchmark interest rate at its next meeting on August 3rd. Traders sold the Aussie on the news. Weaker U.S. equity markets helped maintain the weaker tone in this market.


The U.S. Dollar strengthened following the release of a poor durable goods report. Economists were looking for a 1.0% increase; the actual change was reported as -1.0%. Investors did an about face following the release of this data, buying the Dollar and selling higher risk currencies. Recently bearish news regarding the economy had been driving down the Dollar. Today’s reaction indicates that investors may becoming concerned that a weak U.S. economy will slow the global expansion. The drop in equity markets also contributed to the strength in the Dollar. After the bearish report and the initial reaction, the Dollar settled into a range against most major currencies.


This afternoon’s release of the Fed’s Beige Book had a limited affect on the Dollar. The consensus is the report paints a weak picture for the economy. The market reacted as if the report was a non-event. The reason for the flat reaction may have been that this news had already been factored into the markets since economic reports have been weak and Fed Chairman Bernanke stated last week that weak employment and slow GDP growth will continue to plague the economy.


The tone in the market appeared to be pro-Dollar today which could set up for a rally late in the week once the currency pairs breakout of their trading ranges.


Technically the Euro is still struggling with the psychological 1.30 price level. It seems that a close over this level may be the only way to trigger an acceleration to the upside.


The British Pound closed higher but backed off after testing a major 50% price level at 1.5635. The driving force behind Wednesday’s strength was comments from Bank of England Governor Mervyn King.


King said he thought the 2nd quarter surprise gain in the GDP was “encouraging” but expects new taxes to keep inflation under control. This would mean the BoE would not have to aggressively raise rates to keep a lid on inflation. King also said the central bank policymakers face a “difficult” challenge as it seeks to balance the risks for the economy. This comment was very close to Bernanke’s assessment that the U.S. economy faces uncertainty.


King left open the possibility of more stimuli by stating that their remains “room” to move in either direction and pledged to take the “appropriate” steps going forward in order to encourage a sustainable recovery.


In taking into consideration the state of the economy and King’s comments, one can conclude that the BoE is likely to stay the course and leave interest rates at historically low levels. This means that the recent rally in the GDP USD was most likely triggered by a weak U.S. economy rather than speculation that U.K. interest rates would soon rise. Furthermore, King has to be cautious at this time because a combination of a rate hike, new taxes and cost cutting may be too much for the economy to handle at this time. These would be the key reasons to trigger a decline in British Pound from its current level.


As we approach the end of the week, traders should be more aware of the action in the U.S. equity markets. Today’s action wiped out the gains for the week which could be an indication that sentiment is shifting away from higher risk assets. This could pressure the Euro and the commodity-linked currencies while supporting the Japanese Yen. The strength in the Dollar could begin tonight if Asian indices decide to follow the U.S. equity markets lower.


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AA: Major, A: High, B: Medium

Mon 10 Sep 2018
AA 08:30 GB- GDP, Trade, Output
Tue 11 Sep 2018
AA 08:30 GB- Employment Decision
A 09:00 DE- ZEW Survey
Wed 12 Sep 2018
A 12:30 US- PPI
A 14:30 US- EIA Crude
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AA 11:00 GB- Bank of England Decision
AA 11:45 EZ- European Central Bank Decision
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AA 12:30 US- CPI
Fri 14 Sep 2018
A 08:30 GB- GDP
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