The New Zealand dollar has extended its gains for a second straight day. NZD/USD is trading just above the 0.68 line in the North American session.
All eyes on Federal Reserve
The Federal Reserve is poised to raise rates by 0.25% at today’s meeting. The Fed has telegraphed its intentions to the markets so the move has been priced in. Still, this is a significant move as it is the Fed’s first rate hike since 2018. We could see some movement from the US dollar, depending on the hawkishness of the rate statement, dot plot and Jerome Powell’s press conference. Today’s lift-off is just the start of a rate-tightening cycle, but it remains unclear just how fast a pace the Fed will take towards normalization. There has been a large discrepancy between the Fed projection of rate hikes and what the markets are expecting. The FOMC dot plot is likely to project four hikes in 2022, which is considerably more dovish than the markets, which have priced in seven hikes this year.
The war in Ukraine has injected plenty of volatility into the financial markets. We’ve seen risk apprehension subside when there has been talk of a ceasefire, only to rise back up when the fighting continued. Today’s reports are more encouraging, with the warring sides apparently working on a detailed plan to end the fighting, which would include Ukraine declaring neutrality.
New Zealand releases GDP for Q1 later today, with a gain of 3.2% YoY expected. This follows a dismal third quarter, which saw the economy, which was hampered by Covid restrictions contract by 3.2%. A strong gain could extend the New Zealand dollar’s current upswing.
- NZD/USD has support at 0.6763 and 6716
- There is resistance at 0.6893 and 0.6974