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  • NZD/USD is consolidating just below 0.7100 as it awaits further fundamental catalysts.
  • Q3 Current Account, Q3 GDP and November Trade Data, as well as the government’s fiscal update will be scrutinised later in the week.

NZD/USD has largely gone sideways in recent trade in the 0.7070-0.7090 region, despite a strong increase in Consumer Sentiment in Q4 according to a Westpac survey. The cross is consolidating as trade quietens down as US participants head for the door and as Asia participants arrive prior to the start of the AsiaPac session. Going into the Monday FX close at 22:00GMT, NZD/USD trades almost perfectly flat on the day, having eroded gains that saw the pair as high as 0.7120 (fresh multi-year highs) during the European morning.

The Week Ahead for NZD…

NZD completely ignored a solid improvement in quarterly Consumer Confidence survey numbers from Westpac for Q4. The index rose to 106, its highest level on the year so far and a solid jump from Q3’s reading of 95.1. Indeed, despite everything going on globally with the pandemic, consumer confidence in Q4 in New Zealand is above where its was for most of 2019, likely in part due to the fact that amid the low-rate environment, the housing market is on absolute fire.

Looking ahead for the kiwi dollar, there are a few events that will be worth watching this week; Current Account numbers for Q3 will be released at 21:45GMT on Tuesday, followed by Q3 GDP numbers at 21:45GMT on Wednesday. Perhaps the most important event of the week for NZD will be the New Zealand Government’s Half-Year Economic and Fiscal Update, which will be released at 00:00GMT on Thursday;

ANZ think the fiscal update will be “glass half full”, commenting that “economic developments, chiefly housing-driven domestic demand, are likely to see the Treasury upgrade their near-term economic outlook”. However, the bank caveats that “But caution around the medium-term outlook is still warranted… While the better starting point will probably dovetail into a slightly better medium-term economic outlook, we’re not convinced it’ll be large enough to change the overall narrative that headwinds are expected to persist while fiscal stimulus is poised to wane.”

Trade Numbers for November released at 21:45GMT on Thursday will be the final key data worth watching. However, as ever, USD dynamics and global market risk appetite are likely to be the dominant factors in determining NZD/USD price action, just as was the case on Monday.

NZD/USD looking to grind towards 0.7150

Should global risk appetite remain buoyant and USD remains on the back foot into the end of the year as most expect is likely, NZD/USD has a decent shot at continuing its recent grind to the upside. Indeed, to the immediate upside, there is very little by way of strong areas of resistance ahead of the 0.7150 level. Given that the pair has already pushed above the psychological 0.7100 level on multiple occasions and hit 0.7120 on Monday, these extra 30 pips should not be too much of a stretch.

Westpac “expect risk sentiment to remain elevated into year-end (supported by unprecedented global central bank and government stimulus, and vaccine development) and the USD to weaken further… (meanwhile) the NZ economy’s performance since Covid-19 has been impressive, providing fundamental support for NZD outperformance”. The bank’s NZD/USD target is 0.7200 by year-end.

NZD/USD weekly chart