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Australian Dollar Higher As RBA Rate Hike Bets Grow After Strong Inflation Data

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The Australian dollar advanced against its major counterparts in the Asian session on Wednesday, as a surge in the nation’s consumer inflation for the first quarter raised expectations for a rate hike by the Reserve Bank of Australia at its meeting due next week.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that Australia’s consumer prices climbed 5.1 percent on year in the first quarter of 2022 – beating forecasts for an increase of 4.6 percent and accelerating from 3.5 percent in the previous three months.

On a quarterly basis, inflation jumped 2.1 percent – again exceeding expectations for a gain of 1.7 percent and up from 1.3 percent in the three months prior.

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s trimmed mean came in at 1.4 percent on quarter and 3.7 percent on year, up from 1.0 percent on quarter and 2.6 percent on year in the previous quarter.

The RBA’s weighted median was up 1.0 percent on quarter and 3.2 percent on year after rising 0.9 percent on quarter and 2.7 percent on year three months earlier. The stunning beat firms up the chances that the RBA will raise interest rates at its monthly board meeting next week for the first time since 2010.

The strong data intensified hopes that the RBA will raise interest rates by 15 basis points to 0.25 percent at its next meeting on May 3.

The aussie climbed to 0.7191 against the greenback and 91.76 against the yen, off its early session’s low of 0.7118 and a 5-week low of 90.43, respectively. The aussie is seen finding resistance around 0.74 against the greenback and 93.00 against the yen.

The aussie edged up to 1.4813 against the euro and 0.9188 against the loonie, rising from its prior low of 1.4942 and a 2-day low of 0.9127, respectively. The next possible resistance for the aussie is seen around 1.45 against the euro and 0.93 against the loonie.

The aussie touched a 2-day high of 1.0917 against kiwi, from a low of 1.0844 seen earlier in the session. On the upside, 1.11 is possibly seen as its next resistance level.

Looking ahead, U.S. wholesale inventories, advance goods trade balance and pending home sales, all for March, are scheduled for release in the New York session.

*France Apr Consumer Confidence 88 Vs. 90 In Mar, Consensus 92

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