- RBA minutes state that the rate hike decision was close
- China’s central bank trims key lending rates
The Australian dollar has hit a bump in the road and is down 1% this week. In the European session, AUD/USD is trading at 0.6795, down 0.80% on the day.
RBA minutes – rate decision was close
The Reserve Bank of Australia has a habit of surprising the markets. The RBA’s rate hike earlier this month was a shocker, as the markets had expected rates to remain unchanged. The minutes of the meeting, released today, indicated that the decision was “finely balanced” between a pause and a hike. In support of a pause, members noted that the sharp increases in rates raised the possibility of the economy stalling. In the end, however, concerns over persistent inflation won the day as the Bank voted to hike rates by 0.25%.
The takeaway from the dovish minutes is that the RBA was very close to taking a pause and will be open to holding rates at the July meeting, depending on the data, especially inflation. The Australian dollar has fallen sharply today as investors have lowered their expectations over future rate hikes.
The RBA has backed up hawkish words with action, raising rates to 4.1%, the highest level since 2011. Still, inflation has been stickier than expected, and headline inflation jumped in April from 6.3% to 6.8%. The core rate fell from 6.9% to 6.5%, but that is incompatible with the target of 2%. The RBA has projected that inflation will not fall to 2% until mid-2025, which means more hikes are likely, barring a sharp drop in inflation.
China’s central bank announced on Tuesday that it was cutting key lending rates, in a move to boost investment and consumption. The post-pandemic recovery has been slow, and soft demand for exports has been bad news for Australia, as China is a key trading partner. China posted 4.5% growth in the first quarter, which was better than expected, but key indicators such as retail spending and industrial output missed expectations in May.
- 0.6772 is under pressure in support. Below, there is support at 0.6668
- 0.6836 and 0.6940 are the next resistance lines