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Building Consents, Rate Decision and RBNZ Monetary Policy Statement are the main events this week. Here’s an outlook for the events in New  Zealand, and an updated technical analysis for MZD/USD.

Finance Minister Bill English said on March 5, the earthquake disaster in the city of Christchurch is estimated to cost NZ$15 billion ($11 billion) and decrease 1.5 percent off GDP over five years. He said the earthquake will have an impact on the government’s finances due to increased costs and reduced tax revenue. The New Zealand dollar has been hit this week by the expectations of lower rates, falling to a 19-year trough against the Aussie and a 10-week low against the U.S. dollar.

NZD/USD daily chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:

NZD USD Chart March 7-11

  1. Building Consents: Sunday, 21:45. New Zealand’s home-building approvals plunged 19% in December to 1,018, the lowest level since January 2009 following 7.8% gain in the previous month. These figures support central bank Governor Alan Bollard’s forecast that housing prices may remain soft this year despite a surge in exports.
  2. REINZ HPI: Tue-Sun. This leading indicator of the housing dropped 2.6% in January following 0.6% drop in the prior month. Another decrease is expected thwis time following the devastative earthquake on Feb 22.
  3. Rate Decision: Wednesday, 20:00. The  Reserve Bank  of  New Zealand  will cut its benchmark interest rate since Christchurch earthquake will cost as much as NZ$12 billion ($9 billion). Analysts believe rates will go down by 25 basis as gross domestic product will be cut by at least half a percentage point and may trigger a credit downgrade.
  4. RBNZ Monetary Policy Statement: Wednesday, 20:00. Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard may cut the official cash rate due to the Christchurch. The reasons for the cut as well as its impact on the GDP will be explained in the RBNZ Monetary Policy Statement.
  5. FPI: Thursday, 21:45. New Zealand food prices climbed in January by 1.8% after falling for two straight months. In the year to January 2011, food prices rose 3.8%, including a 2.2% rise in October, when goods and services tax rose. All subgroups made upward contributions.

* All times are GMT.

NZD/USD Technical  Analysis

The kiwi tried to cross the 0.7523 line (mentioned last week) but this didn’t work out. It made a fall, got temporary support at 0.74 but eventually fell below this line and found a cushion at 0.7350.

Looking down, we find immediate support at  0.7350 – which is now of high  importance  as well after 0.74 was broken. This line was a low level in December. A break below will send the pair to levels last seen 6 months ago. It’s closely followed by 0.73, which was a stepping stone on the way up.

Moving lower,  0.7210 also worked as a stepping stone for the kiwi on the way up and now provides support.  It’s followed by, 0.7140 was a resistance line back in July and also in August, and now works as support.

Below the round number of 0.70, we find important support at 0.6950 – which was the lowest line in 6 months.

Looking up, initial resistance is at 0.74. Not only was this a strongsupport line a fews in the past, it also worked as resistance just now. It’s followed by 0.7523, which capped a recovery attempt just now. It also was a peak a long time ago and later served as support.

The next line is 0.7655, which was a stubborn line just now and also in October.  Higher, 0.7750 is is a tough cap above – that worked in February as resistance and as support in November. It’s followed by 0.7830, which was a peak in November and is stronger resistance.

Further above, the peak of 0.7975 was the 2010 high and serves as strong resistance, just under the round number of 0.80.

I remain bearish on NZD/USD.

The  consequences  of  the devastating earthquake are still felt in New Zealand. A rate cut to  accommodate to the economic weakness will likely drive prices even lower.

Further reading: