The New Zealand dollar was slightly higher after another day of narrow range trading as investors await any impetus to justify a decisive move up or down.
The kiwi was trading at 67.37 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 67.28 at 8am. The trade-weighted index was at 73.06 points from 73.02.
Peter Cavanaugh, the senior client advisor at Bancorp Treasury Services, says the currency traded a 24-point range, a little more than other days this week. It dipped briefly after a worse than expected GDP report in Singapore that dragged all the Asian currencies down temporarily.
“It’s so quiet that the ridiculous is having an influence,” Cavanaugh says.
The most significant potential market mover on the horizon is next Wednesday’s release of the local Consumers Price Index for the March quarter.
Economists are expecting a 0.2-0.3 percent increase and the Reserve Bank has forecast a 0.2 percent increase. That would take the annual inflation rate to 1.6-1.7 percent, below the central bank’s 2 percent target.
While the Reserve Bank said last month that the next move in its official cash rate is likely to be down, Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr told Bloomberg yesterday that any move will be data dependent.
Cavanaugh says if the CPI comes in lower than expected, it could embolden the market to fully price in an OCR cut as soon as May from its current record-low at 1.75 percent. If it comes out above expectations, it might cause some people to rethink their views, “but I doubt it,” Cavanaugh says.
“It’s going to have to be something dramatic,” he says.
The New Zealand dollar was at 94.40 Australian cents from 94.48, unchanged at 51.53 British pence, at 59.66 euro cents from 59.77, at 75.29 Japanese yen from 75.13, and at 4.5272 Chinese yuan from 4.5220.
The New Zealand two-year swap rate eased to 1.6662 percent from 1.6745 yesterday; the 10-year swap rate edged up to 2.2450 percent from 2.2400.
The two-year rate has lifted off its record low at 1.5475 on March 28, the day after the Reserve Bank changed its stance from neutral.