The New Zealand dollar lost ground after the September quarter inflation data came in at levels under expectations. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand have recently paused their aggressive series of rate hikes and the data today indicate further rate hikes are less likely, or at least will come later than expected. Indeed, ANZ in NZ revised their forecast for a November 2023 RBNZ rate hike to February 2024.

A few hours later we had the Australian dollar make an opposite move, trading higher after surprisingly hawkish minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia October meeting. The Statement at the time of the meeting was not hawkish but these minutes were. The minutes have prompted a nudge higher for the probability of a November meeting rate hike and even another in December. I’d suggest two more hikes this year is a very unlikely outcome but the November meeting is still in play until we get the results of the Q3 CPI data due from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on October 25.

After this we had more inflation data out of New Zealand, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's own preferred inflation measure, the sectoral factor model. This fell back for the first time since at least September 2021:

rbnz sector factoral cpi model September 2023

To Middle East events, the news out of the region that we received during the session here was on the encouraging side, including:

  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States and Israel have agreed to work out ways to let international assistance come into the blockaded Gaza Strip – this came after a more than 7-hour meeting between Blinken and Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu
  • US President Biden will fly into Israel on Wednesday
  • US CENTCOM commander General Kurilla flew into Tel Aviv, saying "I'm here to ensure Israel has what it needs to defend itself, particularly focused on avoiding other parties expanding the conflict"

While encouraging, keep an eye out for the beginning of ground moves into Gaza to flush out the Hamas terrorists. This will raise the temperature again.

AUD/NZD sharply higher during the session:

audnzd higher wrap chart 17 October 2023