The Australian dollar has posted strong gains today. In the North American session, AUD/USD is trading at 0.7036, up 0.67% on the day.
RBA expected to hike by 50 bp
The Reserve Bank of Australia meets on Tuesday and is expected to deliver a third straight hike of 0.50%. This would bring the Cash Rate to 1.85%. The markets have priced in a 50bp increase at 0.75%. The central bank continues to grapple with rising inflation, with CPI in the second quarter rising to 6.1%, up sharply from 5.1% in Q1. Australian Treasurer Chalmers told parliament on Thursday that the government expects inflation to peak at 7.75% in Q4, and will gradually ease in 2023 and fall to 2.75% in 2024.
If Chalmers’ number crunching is accurate, then the cost of living crisis will worsen before it improves and the central bank will likely have to keep tightening, with plenty more inflation to come. Chalmers noted that the country’s biggest headwinds are surging inflation and slowing global growth. The government revised lower its GDP forecast for 2021-22 to 3.75%, down from 4.5%, and the 2022-2023 forecast from 3.5% to 3.0%.
The RBA has a delicate task of raising rates to curb inflation but not slowing the economy to the extent that it tips into a recession. The labour market remains robust, an important indication that the economy is strong enough to withstand further rate hikes. Tuesday’s rate hike, if 0.50% as expected, is unlikely to impact on the Australian dollar, except perhaps for some short-lived reaction after the rate announcement, as external factors are the main driver behind the Aussie’s movement.
- AUD/USD is putting pressure on resistance at 0.7056. Above, there is resistance at 0.7120
- There is support at 0.6968 and 6904
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