AUD/NZD Nets Out Market Mood Swings, Focus On RBA & RBNZ Policy



AUD/NZD Talking Points:

  • The Australian and New Zealand Dollars are inclined to carefully comply with international inventory indexes
  • AUD/NZD can thus at occasions internet out market temper swings, appearing as “risk neutral”
  • This locations the main target for AUD/NZD on RBA and RBNZ financial coverage expectations

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Part 1 – AUD & NZD, Sentiment-Linked Currencies

In the majors FX spectrum, two currencies usually discover themselves transferring in tandem with international inventory indexes such because the S&P 500 and Nikkei 225. These are the Australian and New Zealand Dollars. To get a tough thought of why, we now have to return to the 2008 monetary disaster. Central banks in developed economies on the time lower their lending charges near or close to zero ranges to assist stimulate their economies as liquidity shrunk, progress slowed and inflation fell.

However, two of them didn’t fairly lower charges as far. Those are the reserve banks of Australia and New Zealand. While the Fed’s benchmark fee hovered between a variety of 0.00% – 0.25% and the Bank of England pushed theirs all the way down to 0.50%, the RBA and RBNZ reached 3.00% and 2.50% respectively. Then, within the aftermath they ultimately glided all the way down to 1.50% and 1.75% respectively (although at occasions they did rise earlier than attending to these ranges).

Still, these charges had been increased than what different main central banks supplied. This in flip gave traders an choice for increased returns in a world with depressed yields. One might borrow in an affordable/low-yielding forex after which park their capital into ones that supplied a better fee. For these in search of to capitalize on rate of interest differentials, AUD and NZD had been/are a major goal for carry trades.

With that in thoughts, throughout occasions when market temper is jubilant and merchants are targeted on in search of returns as shares rally, the sentiment-linked Australian and New Zealand Dollars have a tendency to learn. However, this habits also can reverse. As an instance, beneath is a chart displaying how AUD/USD carried out in February 2018 when the S&P 500 and Nikkei 225 fell as a lot as 11% and 13% respectively.

AUD/USD versus S&P 500 and Nikkei 225

Chart Created in TradingView

Below is the similar response from NZD/USD:

AUD/NZD Nets Out Market Mood Swings, Focus On RBA & RBNZ Policy

Chart Created in TradingView

During this era of extraordinary market volatility, AUD/USD declined as a lot as 4.6% whereas NZD/USD fell about 3.2%. Both succumbed to promoting stress as the main target for merchants shifted from in search of returns to preserving capital. But what occurs whenever you start evaluating each AUD and NZD in opposition to one another throughout occasions of broad market malaise?

Part 2 – AUD/NZD, Brexit Vote Reaction

Given that these sentiment-linked currencies are inclined to carefully comply with shares, one might hypothesize that the impression of market temper on AUD/NZD might cancel one another out. This might end result within the pair being near little modified when equities tumble. Such was the case when how AUD/NZD reacted in June 2016 when the UK voted to go away the European Union.

AUD/NZD versus S&P 500 and Nikkei 225 on Brexit Vote

Chart Created in TradingView

The Brexit vote carried massive quantities of uncertainty for the way forward for the UK and EU on condition that no nation had ever left the nation bloc earlier than. Markets had been unnerved because the S&P 500 and Nikkei 225 declined about 5% and 9% respectively within the aftermath. AUD/USD (-4%) and NZD/USD (-3.75%) additionally noticed aggressive losses as one would anticipate. But, solely AUD/NZD reveals that it fell solely about 0.65% and the pair largely remained inside its buying and selling vary.

Part 3 – The Key Fundamental Catalyst for AUD/NZD

So at occasions, AUD/NZD can behave as a “risk neutral” pair that acts as a shock absorber to a sure extent. This permits the pair to basically focus extra on RBA and RBNZ financial coverage expectations. After all, the important thing driver for FX is the path of the place rates of interest are going.

One of the methods through which we will measure which of the 2 is on the verge of gaining a yield benefit over the opposite is variations in authorities bond yields between the 2 nations. Below is a chart displaying AUD/NZD and its efficiency between the unfold of two-year Australian and New Zealand bond yields from June 2016 to the start of August 2018.

AUD/NZD Versus Australian and New Zealand 2-Year Government Bond Yield Spread

In addition, right here is similar relationship however wanting on the usually extra liquid 10-year yield:

AUD/NZD Nets Out Market Mood Swings, Focus On RBA & RBNZ Policy

When the unfold between Australian and New Zealand bond yields rises, it implies that charges within the former are outpacing the latter. Not surprisingly, when Australian bond yields earn increased returns than in New Zealand, AUD tends to understand in opposition to NZD and vice versa.

Note that the 20-day rolling correlation in each circumstances was constructive round 80 p.c of the time. In addition, generally AUD/NZD would discover itself favoring spreads between the two-year and at different occasions the ten-year. However, do understand that this relationship is just not at all times excellent and at occasions the correlation was destructive.


With that in thoughts, these carefully watching AUD/NZD ought to pay attention to its potential as a “risk neutral” pair that may focus extra on relative rate of interest differentials between the RBA and RBNZ. This also can make it extra reactive to native financial occasion dangers (central banks, GDP, CPI, jobs information, and many others…). This was evident when in August 2018 the Reserve Bank of New Zealand urged that its next rate hike would be further out. As a end result, AUD/NZD volatility out of the blue awoke because it rallied greater than 1.54% inside hours of the financial coverage announcement.

Finally, understand that sooner or later the habits between AUD/NZD and equities might change relying on the place different central banks take their rates of interest. As of August 2018, the Fed boasts the best yield within the majors FX spectrum of as much as 2.00% and that appears more likely to enhance within the near-term. In addition, the Bank of Canada raised benchmark lending charges to 1.50% in July 2018. This tied it with the RBA. As different central banks outpace each the RBA and RBNZ, the connection between shares and the Australian and New Zealand Dollars might wane in comparison with different increased yielding currencies.

AUD/NZD Trading Resources:

— Written by Daniel Dubrovsky, Junior Currency Analyst for

To contact Daniel, use the feedback part beneath or @ddubrovskyFX on Twitter


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