The Reserve Bank of New Zealand raised its Official Cash Rate (OCR) by 25bp to 5.5% today in a split (5 to 2) decision and signalled the hiking cycle is over. The Bank noted policy would remain restrictive for some time to come and sees cuts from the back half of 2024. More detail in the points above. NZD/USD was marked lower on the news. As I update its sitting below 0.6200. Yields on NZ 2 years also dropped, around 30bp down as I update. This dragged AUD/USD lower also, but only by a few points. Its under 0.6600 after a 25 or so point range only.

Earlier in the session we had Q1 retail sales from New Zealand. These fell again, after the fall in Q4 of last year, indicating that New Zealand may be moving into recession already.

US debt ceiling talks stalled, with no further meetings Tuesday evening US time.

Apart from NZD and AUD major FX was very quiet indeed.

Asian equity markets all slid after a weak lead from Wall Street:

  • Japan’s Nikkei 225 -1%

  • China’s Shanghai Composite -0.8%

  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng -1.1%

  • South Korea’s KOSPI -0.1%

  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 -0.5%

nzdusd wrap chart 24 May 2023