Statistics New Zealand reported last week that the Consumer Price Index rose 1.4% in Q4, beating expectations of a 1.3% increase. On an annual basis, CPI remained at 7.2%, also beating expectations of annual inflation of 7.1%.
According to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's so-called sector factor model, annual inflation accelerated to 5.8% in Q4 from 5.6% in Q3.
The data suggests that despite the actions already taken, the RBNZ is failing to bring inflation risks under control, and this is putting pressure on the bank to tighten its monetary policy further. Market participants are expecting the central bank to take more decisive steps towards further monetary tightening.
Considering the good state of the New Zealand economy and the labor market, investors expect that the RBNZ will raise the interest rate at the meeting on February 22, which is already one of the highest among the key global central banks, currently at 4.25%.
However, this meeting will not take place until the end of February. Furthermore, three key global central banks (USA, UK, and eurozone) are set to hold their own monetary policy meetings this week.
The Federal Reserve will be the first among these central banks to announce its decision. This will be on Wednesday at 19:00 (GMT). The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates again, but not by 75bp, or 50bp as it did in 2022, but by 25bp (to 4.75%) and may announce plans to raise it further, but at an even slower pace. Dollar bulls are waiting for the U.S. central bank to continue its monetary tightening cycle. However, it is still not clear what will happen after this Fed meeting.
Meanwhile, the current behavior of the US dollar and the whole financial market shows that participants refrain from being active, as they brace for the important economic events of the week - monetary policy decisions of the central banks in the USA, the UK and the eurozone.
Thus, the DXY dollar index was slightly down at the beginning of Monday's European session after a similar moderate growth during Monday's Asian session. The DXY futures were trading near 101.60, 12 points below Friday's closing price but 34 points above last week's local 9-month low of 101.26.
On the whole, the dollar and its index remains continues to move down, which makes short positions on DXY (CFD #USDX in the MT4 trading terminal) preferable. After crossing the support level of 101.00, you can use key support levels like 100.00, 98.60 for succeeding bearish targets.
As for the New Zealand dollar, it maintains positive values. The pair is running on bullish momentum, fueled by a tough stance of the RBNZ on the issue of monetary policy and positive macro data coming from New Zealand, especially with regard to the country's labor market and GDP. For instance, data released in the middle of last month indicated that the country's Q3 GDP grew +2.0%, higher than the forecast of +0.9% growth and the previous value of +1.7%. On an annual basis, New Zealand's economy added +6.4%, which was better than the +5.5% expected.
Fresh labor market data will be released on Tuesday and might add some positive momentum to the NZD and the NZD/USD pair. The NZD/USD might also see growth in the employment report from Statistics New Zealand and unemployment in Q4 remaining at a low of 3.3% (previous reading: 3.3%, 3.3%, 3.2%, 3.3%).
The NZD and the NZD/USD pair also receives support from positive investor sentiment about the Chinese economy, where the Chinese authorities (late last year) began to move away from the "zero-Covid" policy, and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently noted that the current wave of COVID-19 infections is coming to an end. This should have a positive effect on the growth of the Chinese economy and business activity in that country, which is New Zealand's largest trading partner.
The pair was trading near 0.6482, in the middle-term bull market zone, above the key support levels of 0.6340, 0.6285 and 0.6260.