Update on Kiwi, RNNZ on hold as expected…

The Kiwi has remained under pressure against the greenback since the middle of July when it flirted with its 3-year resistance at 0.8840. Since then, we saw a lower than expected CPI that printed at 1.6% in Q2 on July 15 (vs 1.8% expected) followed by a dovish stance from RBNZ policymakers on July 24th. Despite the central bank raised its OCR by 25bps for the fourth time this year to 3.5% (in line with investors’ expectations), Governor Wheeler indicated that the central bank was considering a pause in the following meeting after the 1% shift.

Therefore, investors lost interest in the currency (probably some take profits above 0.8800) and the negative trend started. I have remained bearish on the currency since the central bank’s last statement, and we anticipated the NZD to depreciate even more against the USD ahead of the RBNZ meeting (September 10th). As expected, the central bank left rates unchanged yesterday and added that ‘softer inflation might limit the extent of rate hikes’, pushing NZD/USD below the 0.8200 level (trading at 0.8175 as you can see on the chart below).

We set our target at 0.8050, which corresponds to February 2nd (2014) low.

KiwiDol(1)

(Source: Reuters)

Buy the dips on NZD/JPY?

It looks to me that the 14-day SMA (orange line) has been acting as a ‘strong’ support on NZD/JPY for the past couple of weeks. Despite our bearish sentiment on the Kiwi, we also turned bearish on the Yen and we believe that bearish Yen is preferable to bearish Kiwi. Therefore, we will try to buy some at around 87.30, stop loss below 86.90 with a target at 88.00.

NZD-11-Sep(1)

(Source: Reuters)

Watch the Kiwi!

As we mentioned in our previous posts, this low-volatile environment has played in favour of carry trade currencies, and especially the Kiwi. Since the RBNZ has started its monetary policy tightening cycle this year raising its benchmark three times by 0.25% to 3.25%, the NZ dollar keeps appreciating against the major currencies. For instance, NZDUSD is trading at its multi-year high above the 0.8800 level and seems on its way to retest its strong resistance at 0.8840 (Aug 1st 2011).

However, the next central bank’s meeting is on July 24 and Governor Wheeler could announce a pause in the rate hike cycle stating the Kiwi is starting to be overvalued. In our opinion, we could see a pause in the cycle at the next meeting especially as the Fed hasn’t pronounced itself on a potential rate hike (based on yesterday’s minutes).

Therefore, the Kiwi could potentially enter in an ‘overbought’ area in the coming days and it may be a good time to take the opportunity to sell it. We chose NZDJPY: as you can see it on the chart below, the pair has appreciated by a bit more than 4% since the beginning of the month, with the 14-day acting as a support (buy dips opportunity). However, we think that the 90.00 could act as a strong resistance on the topside (year’s high: 89.90 reached on April 1st). We went short this morning at 89.53 with a target of 88.10 at first (Stop loss above 90.20).

image001

(Source: Reuters)

FOMC minutes review, what’s next for the Dollar-Bloc currencies?

Yesterday, the Fed released its minutes of the last FOMC meeting (March 18-19) and we saw that the US policymakers were less hawkish than expected, easing rate hike speculation. Despite the last two NFP good prints and unemployment rate standing slightly above the ‘once-to-be’ 6.5-percent threshold (6.7% in March), the recovery is still fragile according to Fed officials who surprised traders and investors by showing that the central bank was more supportive of keeping its Fed Funds rate at low levels (0-0.25%).The US Dollar index broke its support at 79.75 and is now trading at 79.40, boosting most of the currencies.

As you can see it below, the US 10-year yield (orange) eased by 7 bps to trade at 2.65%, pushing the price of Gold (purple) back to 1,320 and helping the Yen (green) to continue its ‘strengthening episode’. Since last Friday’s high of 104.12, USDJPY has depreciated by 2.4% and seems on its way to test its support at 101.20. At the same time, the 10-year yield is down 15bps from 2.80%.

USYields

(Source: Reuters)

Is there more room on the upside for the Dollar-Bloc currencies?

AUD: The Aussie continues its positive momentum with Australian March employment report smashing expectations of a 5K increase to print at 18,100 (Jobless rate edged down by 0.2% to 5.8%). The Australian Dollar is now trading above 0.9400, levels we saw back in October. We believe that the inflation figures coming up at the end of the month (April 23rd) will determine the stance of monetary policy and if Governor Stevens could threaten the market once again of a rate cut if he judges that the Aussie is ‘uncomfortably high’. If we have a look at the chart below, the last ‘Aussie recovery’ was stopped after a 10% increase when it hit its 200-Daily SMA at around 0.9750 with the RSI indicator (14 days, 30-70) showing an overbought signal. In the second recovery episode, the pair is up 9.3% since the end of January and seems on its way to test the 0.9500 level. However, the overbought RSI may have been perceived by traders as a good time to start shorting the pair.

AUD-10-APr

(Source: Reuters)

NZD: The Kiwi also appreciated sharply against the greenback and is up 8.65% since the end of January, trading at 0.8700 (August 2011 level). The Reserve Bank of New Zealand raised its Official Cash Rate (OCR) by 0.25% at its last meeting in March after holding it at a historical low of 2.5% for three years. Traders have been looking at the Kiwi as an interesting buying opportunity after Governor Graeme Wheeler announced that he expected to ‘raise the benchmark interest rate to about 4.5% in the next two years’ in order to curb inflation. Moreover, the unemployment rate declined to a 5-year low of 6.0% in the last quarter of 2013, while the economy expanded by 3.1% (down from 3.5% in Q3) and NZ’s current account deficit narrowed to NZD 7.55bn (or 3.4% as a share of GDP) through the twelve months through December (lowest ratio since Q1 2012).

The RBNZ will probably leave its OCR unchanged on April 23rd, which could hurt the Kiwi in the short term as some traders will start considering to take profit after the sharp appreciation. We would stay aside of the Kiwi at the moment and wait for further reaction from RBNZ policymakers on the strong exchange rate. The next resistance on the topside stands at 0.8840, which is the pair’s all-time high (Aug 1st 2011).

Kiwi

(Source: Reuters)

CAD: The surprise came from Canadian macroeconomic figures that completely reverse the bearish trend on the Loonie against the greenback. In its last meeting back in January, Bank of Canada lowered its inflation forecast stating that it expected the total inflation rate to remain at 0.9% in the first half of 2014, down from its previous forecast of 1.2%. As policymakers stated that they expected inflation to remain ‘well below target’, Governor Poloz turned the monetary policy to a dovish stance and the market was starting to price in a rate cut in one of the following meetings (currently at 1% since September 2010). However, the sudden increase in CPI (from 0.7% in October to 1.5% in January, then 1.1% in February) in addition to the better-than-expected indicators (GDP figures, Retail sales, Trade balance, Employment report…) brought back traders’ interest on the Loonie.

However, We think that the bearish trend on USDCAD is coming to its end and we will see 1.0800 as a good level to start buying the pair for a bounce back towards 1.1000 at first. USDCAD broke it 100-daily SMA yesterday (1.0900) and found support at 1.0850; technical indictors RSI is starting to show some oversold signals therefore some investors will see the 1.0800 – 1.0850 range as a buying opportunity.

USDCAD

(Source: Reuters)