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A busy week expects kiwi traders, with the interest rate decision being the highlight. Here’s an outlook for events in New Zealand and an updated technical analysis for NZD/USD.

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

NZD USD Forecast September 13-17 2010

The kiwi enjoyed risk appetite to make some gains. This week, it depends on its own indicators. Let’s start:

  1. FPI: Published on Sunday, 22:45. New Zealand exports a lot of  agricultural goods, making the price of food important of its economy. The past two months have seen nice rises in prices – 1.3% and 1.6%. A more modest rise is expected this time.
  2. Retail Sales: Published on Monday, 22:45. This major consumer gauge showed strength last month by a big 0.9% jump, almost double the expectations and double the previous month’s rise. Also core retail sales shot up by 1.5%, far better than expected. An unchanged result is expected this time in retail sales, and core retail sales will probably rise by 0.1%. Retail sales tend to have a strong impact on the kiwi.
  3. Rate decision: Published on Wednesday, 21:00. Alan Bollard and his colleagues at the RBNZ are expected to leave the interest Official Cash Rate unchanged at 3% this time. After two rate hikes, there’s a notion that inflation isn’t a threat that needs to be handled by a higher rate. In addition, the unemployment rate leaped above 7% once again, showing that New Zealand still needs to support the economic recovery. It’s important to note the accompanying rate statement and the wording at the press conference that follows the rate decision.
  4. Business NZ Manufacturing Index: Published on Wednesday, 22:30. This figure is similar to purchasing managers’ indices, with 50 being the critical line between expansion and contraction. Last month’s score of 49.9 points, just under the bar, was worrying for the kiwi. It’s now expected to rise back up above 50.
  5. Westpac Consumer Sentiment: Published on Friday. This quarterly survey of 1500 consumers usually rocks the kiwi. After dropping in the first quarter, this indicator made a comeback in Q2 with a score of 119.3 points. Any figure above 100 points means economic optimism. Another rise is expected now.

All times are GMT.

NZD/USD Technical Analysis

The kiwi drifted in between 0.7160 and 0.7250 (a resistance line that didn’t appear in last week’s outlook). It later managed to rise above this level and test the 0.73 resistance line before closing at 0.7279.

This week’s high of 0.73 was also a peak in mid July, and is now a strong resistance line. Higher, the stubborn peak of 0.7356 in August provides further resistance.

Moving higher, the 0.7440 area capped the pair for a few consecutive days in January and is a strong resistance line. The next resistance line is 0.7523, the swing high back in November. It’s followed by 0.7634, another swing high back in October.

Looking down, 0.7250 was a stepping stone for the kiwi on its way up and also in April, and provides minor support. Lower, 0.7160 provided support recently and worked as a resistance line in June – it’s now a significant support line.

Below, 0.71 had a role  in July and also back in November as a support line. More serious support appears at 0.70, the round number that is closely eyed by many traders. The last support line for now is at 0.69, which capped the kiwi after the downfall in May.

I am bearish on the kiwi.

Despite the recent gains, New Zealand doesn’t enjoy the strong fundamentals of its neighbor. I believe that the pause in rate hikes will take its toll on the currency.

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