A stronger USD plus local pandemic risks persisting have capped the kiwi recently, but NZ CPI is set to print at a 10-year high next week. Economists at Westpac are watching for a break of 0.6980, which would open up the 0.74 level by year-end.

“NZD/USD has been rangebound inside 0.6860-0.6980, with few near-term directional clues. One possibility is that the downward correction since early September is complete, and a base is forming to launch a retest of 0.7200 multi week, and 0.7400 by year-end”.

“One argument for the NZD/USD to grind higher is the major commodity boom underway. Another argument is that RBNZ tightening will proceed as projected, despite adverse Covid developments recently.”

“Our economists expect Q3 CPI to rise by 1.5% QoQ, 4.2% YoY. That would be an increase from Q2’s 3.3% YoY, and the highest since 2011’s GST-related spike. Our forecast is slightly higher than the RBNZ’s.”

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