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Australia, NZ Dollars Chased Lower as Data Disappoints Bulls

SYDNEY, Nov 17 (Reuters) - The Australian and New Zealand dollars were under fire again on Wednesday after a batch of upbeat U.S. economic data lifted their U.S. counterpart, while domestic news disappointed bulls.

The Aussie lapsed to a fresh five-week trough of $0.7275 , having shed 0.7% overnight when U.S. retail and industrial figures came in strong. The breach of support at $0.7277 could see a re-test of the September low at $0.7171.

The kiwi dollar crumbled 0.8% overnight to reach $0.6984 and threaten support around $0.6980. A break would open the way to its September low of $0.6860.

The Aussie took a further blow when Australian wages data failed to beat expectations as some in the market had been betting on.

Annual wage growth ticked up to a moderate 2.2% just as forecast, while bulls had hoped a higher outcome would reinforce the case for an early rate hike from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

“It’s clear that wages growth is well below the 3-4% rates that were the norm a decade ago and the sorts of rates the RBA needs to believe that inflation will sustainably run at 2-3%,” said Paul Bloxham, chief economist Australia at HSBC.

“Today’s figures support the RBA’s dovish perspective and our own view on the cash rate outlook - our central case has no hikes in 2022 or 2023.”

That saw the futures market lengthen the odds on a hike just a little, with a move to 0.25% now fully priced in by July next year rather than June. Yet swaps still have rates approaching 1% by the end of the year.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) has already kicked off its tightening campaign and is considered certain to hike again next week. Swaps are fully priced for a move to 0.75%, and imply a 36% chance of a half point rise to 1.0%.

Indeed, the market has rates well above 2% by the end of next year and around 3% in 2024.

“We feel 3%-plus is too punchy at this stage,” said analysts at Kiwibank. “We expect the RBNZ to pause around 2%, and the bank’s own rate track is likely to peak around 2.4%.”

(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

Source: Reuters

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