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NZD/USD Nears 0.5980 Amid Fed’s Powell Dovish Remarks, Eyes on US ISM PMI

NZD/USD Nears 0.5980 Amid Fed’s Powell Dovish Remarks, Eyes on US ISM PMI

The NZD/USD currency pair has continued its upward trajectory for the second straight day, making notable gains during Monday’s Asian trading session and approaching the 0.5980 mark. This upward movement comes in the wake of dovish statements from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell last Friday. Powell’s comments, particularly regarding the recent Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index (PCE) data from the United States, have been interpreted as aligning with the Fed’s openness to potential interest rate reductions this year.

Adding to this sentiment, Federal Reserve Board Governor Christopher Waller has expressed that there’s no urgency to implement rate cuts, given the persistent inflationary pressures. Similarly, San Francisco Fed President Mary C. Daly has underlined the Fed’s readiness to adjust rates as necessary based on evolving data, while also highlighting the strength of the US economy and downplaying the likelihood of an imminent downturn.

The US Dollar Index (DXY) has been facing headwinds, partly due to lower yields on US Treasury bonds. The DXY is currently hovering around 104.50, with yields on the 2-year and 10-year US bonds at 4.60% and 4.19%, respectively. Despite these challenges, Fed officials are still projecting three rate reductions within the year, with market anticipations leaning towards the first cut occurring at the Fed’s June meeting.

On the other side of the pairing, the New Zealand Dollar (NZD) is experiencing its own pressures, fueled by speculations that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) might start reducing policy rates early next year. RBNZ Governor Adrian Orr has noted the central bank’s progress in reining in inflation to within its target range. Orr has also suggested that the peak in interest rates has likely been reached, paving the way for potential rate cuts.

Further boosting the Kiwi Dollar, recent data from China has shown encouraging signs. The Chinese Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for March indicated that manufacturing activity in China expanded for the first time in six months. China’s Caixin Manufacturing PMI reported a figure of 51.1, slightly above expectations and the previous month’s figure of 50.9. Additionally, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Manufacturing PMI in China rose to 50.8 in March from 49.1 previously, while the NBS Non-Manufacturing PMI climbed to 53.0 from 51.4.

Looking ahead, traders are likely to approach the market with caution as they await the release of the ISM Manufacturing PMI from the United States, scheduled for later in the North American session. Additionally, upcoming data releases, such as the Building Permits from Statistics New Zealand this Thursday, will be closely monitored for their potential impact on currency movements.