Home Daily Commentaries NZD slumps to new 2023 low following uptick in US inflation

NZD slumps to new 2023 low following uptick in US inflation

Daily Currency Update

The New Zealand dollar fell through trade on Thursday, plumbing fresh 2023 lows following stronger than anticipated US inflation data. While traditionally considered a second tier data set, US PPI inflation is typically ignored with markets preferring to focus on the traditional Consumer Price Index, however January saw both headline and core PPI figures jump significantly, continuing the surprise reversal in trend across US macroeconomic data points. The upswing in producer prices further cemented expectations the path toward the Fed’s inflation target of 2% could be a long and drawn out one. US yields and rates pushed higher following the data update and the NZD fell to intraday lows at US$0.6230. There appears little sign the Fed will pause or slow the pace of rates hikes through the next two months with the likelihood of a third hike now being priced into near term yield curves. Under this weight the NZD has given up gains hard won in January and continues to mark a series of lower lows, suggesting the currency is now firmly entrenched within a downturn. Having managed to claw back some ground through the latter part of the overnight session the NZD opens this morning just above US$0.6250.

With a largely empty macro ticket closing out the week our attentions turn to Fed speakers for direction.

Key Movers

The US dollar advanced through trade on Thursday buoyed by stronger than anticipated inflation across Producer Prices. While traditionally ignored, January’s upswing in PPI was too large to dismiss and further underpins the recent shift in narrative surrounding inflation and central bank policy. The USD tracked downward through January, yet a series of stronger than anticipated domestic data sets through February has since raised questions as to the timing of any pause in Fed policy. Inflation pressures, while easing, remain stickier than first thought while consumer activity appears seemingly impervious to the unprecedented string of rate hikes. With the path toward the Fed 2% inflation target lengthening by the day momentum is again firmly behind the US dollar. With global rates higher the USD pushed toward 134.50 against the Japanese yen while the euro slipped toward 1.0650 and the GBP poked its nose below 1.20.

With little of note on today’s ticket our attentions remain with Fed commentators for direction into the weekly close.

Expected Ranges

  • NZD/USD: 0.6180 - 0.6350 ▼
  • NZD/EUR: 0.5820 - 0.5920 ▼
  • GBP/NZD: 1.9080 - 1.9320 ▲
  • NZD/AUD: 0.9070 - 0.9150 ▲
  • NZD/CAD: 0.8380 - 0.8450 ▲