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RBNZ holds rates, and oil bears strike


8 February 2018

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has kept interest rates flat at 1.75% just hours ago. While there had been the odd rumour of a hike, in reality it was business as usual as the bank kept things on pause while it watched market conditions and the NZD. The current belief from the bank is that the NZD movements thus far have been in part to the USD, which is fairly true given the large falls we've seen from the USD as of late. Additionally, it believes in the long term the NZDUSD will continue to fall further over time in the current market environment. One thing that was of interest was the comments on government policy, with it saying that it believed that the current government policies would not have a negative impact on the economy.

For me the NZDUSD is of course the key interest to come out of all of this as it dipped slightly after the announcement. This is not really surprising given the forecast for inflation to not pick up again until 2020, showing that the RBNZ believes it could take some time for the economy to fire up. Looking at the NZDUSD from a bearish perspective the 200 day moving average is looking like dynamic support potentially, but has not been respected heavily in the past. Support levels can be found at 0.7171 and 0.7054 on the chart. For the bulls, it could be a hard ask as the trend has started to sink again to the bearish side, but if we did see a climb higher then I would be watching resistance levels at 0.7255, 0.7324 and of course 0.7431 if we saw a very strong rally. All in all the NZDUSD is likely to keep on trending, but it's a case of the market finding some feet again when it comes to this pair.

The other big mover in the markets today was of course oil, which saw a build up in reserves in the US for distillate inventories and of course gasoline Inventories - both posting surpluses 3M barrels above what was expected. There is a worry in the US that the current deficits may peter out in the long run causing an equilibrium to form and to stop the current bullish progression of oil markets. However, OPEC's plans continue to bear fruit, so it could give them an incentive to try and pressure oil markets further if it falters.

Oil bears have so far bounced of support at 61.00, but there is certainly pressure in the market for further falls and support levels at 58.94 and potentially even 56.49 could be tested. If the market pulls back it could see a rise to resistance levels at 63.25 and of course 65.94. One other thing worth noticing is the trend line which was broken but obeyed heavily on the bullish upswing, so something to keep in mind for oil traders in the market at present.

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