RBA Holds as Market Panic over a Trade War Abates for now

Weekly NZD  USD

Weekly NZD USD

Also, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has remained on hold at its monetary policy meeting, concluded early today scheduled for March 6.

Elsewhere, the Japanese Yen was down 0.16% to ¥106.37 against the U.S Dollar, following on from Monday's 0.43% fall, while the Kiwi Dollar was up 0.19% to $0.7240, the risk on sentiment, pickup in commodity prices on hopes of the U.S pulling back from a trade war supporting risk appetite and the commodity currencies.

With little changing in the domestic economic landscape since those comments, the market had fully expected another "no move" result in March.

"That said, the end of record low rates will eventually come".

"4Q GDP data in Australia should remind investors of the growth challenges facing the RBA and reinforce the sense that it is comfortably on hold for the foreseeable future", says Sally Auld, chief Australia and New Zealand economist at J.P. Morgan. Long-term bond yields have risen but are still low.

Market demand for Sterling was bolstered slightly on Monday by Markit's last round of UK February PMI stats, which beat expectations despite disappointing manufacturing and construction data last week.




The central bank remained confident over the employment situation. Business conditions are positive and non-mining business investment is increasing. Interest-rate futures markets are still happy to bet that it won't go lower still and that the next move, when it comes, will be an increase.

"By late 2018 growth should be near 3 per cent and the unemployment rate approaching 5 per cent". A gradual pick-up in inflation is, however, expected as the economy strengthens. It noted that inflation remains below target- despite the relatively strong performance of the Australian economy- thanks to weak wage settlements and retail competition. The central forecast is for CPI inflation to be a bit above 2 per cent in 2018. It added that "the rate of wage growth appears to have troughed and there are reports that some employers are finding it more hard to hire workers with the necessary skills".

This strength did not last long, however, with the GBP/AUD exchange rate swiftly returning to volatile form as the Australian Dollar was weakened by announcements from the White House that the USA would levy tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

Market demand for risk-correlated currencies like the Australian Dollar (AUD) was slightly stronger on Tuesday, as concerns about the USA sparking a "trade war" cooled.

On top of this, the cooling in the Sydney and Melbourne property markets means the need for a possible tightening of monetary policy is off the agenda. Policymakers added that the macro-prudential policies "have been helpful in containing the build-up of risk in household balance sheets, although the level of household debt remains high".

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