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Kiwi/dollar dipped to lower ground but eventually climbed back up and remained in range. A busy week awaits us at the beginning of the month: NBNZ Business Confidence  and employment data are the main events this week. Here’s an  outlook  for the events in New  Zealand, and an updated technical analysis for NZD/USD.

Last week, New Zealand’s central bank kept its  interest rates  at a record low of 2.5% amid sluggish economic growth and a stronger kiwi. However Governor Alan Bollard stated the central bank will revise its monetary policy in case the currency continues to strengthen. Will inflation pressure continue to weigh on NZ economy?

Updates: The economic indicators were a mixed bag on Monday. Building Consents jumped a spectacular 19.8% in April. It was the best posting by the indicator since 2008. However, Trade Balance surplus fell to a surplus of 134M, sharply below the market forecast of 437M. NZD/USD is trading just above the 0.82 level, at 0.8201. The Labor Cost Index rose by 0.5%, matching the market forecast. The kiwi has lost ground, as NZD/USD is trading at 0.8128. Following in the steps of its Australian neighbor, Commodity Prices sagged badly, posting a 4.5% drop. This was the worst reading in over three years, and reflects an export sector struggling due to the sluggish global economy. All eyes will be on the key  employment  releases later  on Wednesday. Emplomyent Change posted an increase of 0.4%, slightly below the market forecast of 0.5%. More worrisome was the quarterly Unemployment Rate, which jumped to 6.8%. This figure was well above the forecast of 6.3% and  is the highest level since February 2011. The kiwi is down on the weak data, and was trading at 0.8031. This is its lowest level since January.

NZD/USD  daily chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:NZD/USD Chart April 30 May 4 2012

  1. Building Consents: Sunday, 22:45. Number of building consents issued in February dropped 6.7% following 8.1% increase in January. This decline offsets January increase where a relatively higher number of apartments were approved.
  2. Trade Balance: Sunday, 22:45. New Zealand’s monthly trade balance rebounded back to surplus in February totaling NZ$161 million as exports outweighed imports.  January balance totaled a revised deficit of NZ$159 million.  Trade balance surplus is expected to rise to NZ$420 million.
  3. NBNZ Business Confidence: Monday, 1:00. Business confidence increased in March to 33.8 from28 in the previous month asChristchurch rebuild work improved business sentiment. However the boost in the housing sector cannot save the NZ economy for long.
  4. Labor Cost Index: Monday, 22:45.New Zealand wages increased 0.7% in the last quarter of 2011 amid an increase in the private sector compared to the public sector positions. Economists expected a 0.5% increase. The rapid pace of inflation enabled the BOC to leave rates unchanged. A further gain of 0.6% is anticipated.
  5. Employment data, Wednesday, 22:45.New Zealand’s unemployment dropped more than expected in the final quarter of 2011 reaching 6.3% from 6.6% in the third quarter amid a steep rise in part-time employment. Meanwhile the labor market gained 0.1% reaching 2,221 jobs in the fourth quarter less than the 0.4% rise predicted.NZ job market is expected to grow 0.5% while unemployment rate is expected to drop further to 6.2%.

* All times are GMT.

NZD/USD  Technical  Analysis

Kiwi/$ traded between the 0.81 and 0.8190 lines (discussed last time) throughout most of the week. It made a sharp move higher at the end of the week and eventually closed just above 0.82.

Technical lines, from top to bottom:

We start from the same high line. 0.8573 was a stubborn line of resistance during August 2011 and remains of high importance. 0.8505 was a peak on the way up during July. A move higher in February 2012 fell short of this line.

The 0.84 line separated ranges in August 2011, and earlier served as support when the kiwi traded higher. While this line was hurt recently, it still serves as a serious cap. 0.8320 capped an attempt for a surge in April 2012 and is now of stronger importance.

0.8290 capped the pair in a stubborn manner during March 2012, and set the pair falling. 0.8264 capped the pair as a double top in both March and April 2012 and proved to be quite strong. It is now key resistance.

0.8190 is the next line, which now switches to strong support. It capped the pair in March 2012 and also provided some support in January. The round number of 0.81 provides support after proving itself as a cushion at the end of April 2012.

0.8060 was resistance in October and support beforehand.. It was also tested in January and in March, this time as support and provided to be very strong. The round number of 0.80 managed to cap the pair in November and remains of high importance, especially due to its psychological importance.

Another round number, 0.79, is now stronger resistance after capping a rise at the beginning of 2012. 0.7840 worked as cap for a range and earlier stopped the pair in October. It then became much stronger in December, holding the range. The pair approached in the last days of 2011, but couldn’t really challenge it.

0.7773 was the bottom border of a range at the beginning of 2012, and also in December.  0.77 provided support in December and is now minor support. 0.7637 was a swing low in September and provided its strength in December as a swing low. It is a still strong, after capping a recovery attempt in December.

0.7550 now has a stronger role after working as a very distinct line separating ranges.  It had a similar role back in January.

I am neutral on NZD/USD

While a rate cut is expected in Australia, New Zealand’s rate is stable for now, and so is its economy. The absence of QE3 in the US balances the picture.

Further reading: