New Zealand Dollar Higher Ahead of Employment Data


  • New Zealand to release employment for Q4
  • NZD/USD hits 2-week high
  • Fed expected to raise rates

NZD/USD is considerably higher on Tuesday, trading at 0.6203, up 0.57%. Earlier, NZD/USD rose as high as 0.6218, its highest level since April 19th.

New Zealand job numbers expected to remain strong

New Zealand’s labour market has remained robust, despite relentless tightening from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, which has raised rates to 5.25%. We’ll get a look at first-quarter employment numbers later today, with the markets expecting solid numbers. The unemployment rate is projected to come in at 3.5%, a touch above the 3.4% rate in Q4 of 2022. Employment change is expected at 0.4%, following a Q4 read of 0.2%.

The RBNZ would like to see the labour market weaken in order to hasten the fall of inflation, which remains its number one priority. The central bank will also release the Financial Stability Report later today, which will provide insights into the Bank’s take on inflation and growth. Investors will be looking for hints on rate policy, with the RBNZ meeting next on May 24th. Policy makers would like to pause rates and provide households with a bit of relief, but that will depend on the data, including inflation expectations which will be released next week.

The Fed meets on Wednesday and a 25-basis point hike is widely expected, with a 93% probability according to the CME Group. The banking crisis, which reappeared with First Republic Bank’s shares plunging, is off the radar for now after JP Morgan agreed to purchase First Republic’s assets. Still, credit conditions have tightened, which is estimated to be equivalent to a Fed hike of 25 or perhaps 50 basis points. That fallout is unlikely to prevent a Fed hike on Wednesday but could well lead the Fed to wind up its current tightening cycle earlier than anticipated.

NZD/USD Technical

  • NZD/USD tested resistance at 0.6209 earlier today. Above, there is resistance at 0.6332
  • 0.6133 and 0.6072 are the next support levels


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